Italy coach Giampiero Ventura has selected not to choose Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in his all-time Azzurri XI.
There was no place either for Roma stalwart Francesco Totti, AC Milan great Paolo Maldini or midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo, as Ventura selected a number of the much less fashionable players from Italy’s history to star in his side.
The 68-year-old was asked to choose his ultimate national team as he produced his way about the country to pay a visit to all 20 Serie A clubs, but he avoided naming any players nevertheless active within the game.
In spite of possessing probably the most capped player in Italian football history in his squad inside the shape of Buffon, Ventura told Vivo Azzurro: “In target: Dino Zoff.
“He’s the history of football, excluding those nevertheless playing, he’s the strongest player in the final 50 years.
“This isn’t a tactical selection but one particular from the heart.”
Former Inter defenders Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti got the nod at full-back ahead from the likes of Maldini and Giuseppe Bergomi, with Ventura describing the 1960s stars as “part of my youth”.
Ventura delved into far more current history for his centre-backs, picking out Franco Baresi and Alessandro Nesta, but he overlooked numerous Italy’s terrific modern midfielders and alternatively selected Franco Causio, Gianni Rivera and Romeo Benetti.
Of attacking choice Roberto Baggio, who played and scored in 3 Planet Cups for the duration of the 1990s, Ventura said: “He entertained me numerous times”.
The Italy boss returned for the 1960s and 70s to complete his line-up, picking a front two of Sandro Mazzola and Gigi Riva.