Since the English top flight was reorganized and named the English Premier League in 1992, the English shores have been dazzled by a lot of foreign players. Now, we can pick out a lot of big money moves that brought in a lot of fantastic French and Spanish stars to the Premier League, but there is something special about the affiliation between the Premier League and Italian players. While famous for their footballing ability, Italians have also played their part in today’s bingo sites proliferation with the game’s roots in the 16th Century lottery, Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia.
Since the arrival of the first Italian player to grace the Premier League in 1995, many have followed suit. Andrea Silenzi opened the door by moving to Nottingham Forest, and his arrival paved the way for a long list of arrivals from Italy to the Premier League, and the majority of them have made very significant input to the league. Below is a list of the top 10 Italian players that have graced the English Premier League.
Ronald Koeman managed this giant striker at Feyenoord and later brought him to the south coast when he already had a very amazing reputation. The coiffed haired, handsome and tall striker arrived to the English top flight looking like the typical Italian. However, he plied his trade in England like an old fashioned British striker and did not disappoint the people that brought him in.
He got a lot of nicknames during his career. It was once ‘Popeye’ and later ‘Bald Eagle’ because of his bald head and huge physicality. The Italian player developed a huge love for Palace while he was there. He turned up less than 50 times for them, but was named in their Centenary XI because of his amazing ability.
Now, whenever you witness a combination of arrogance and talent as the whole world saw in Balotelli, it could be very difficult to handle. Now, while playing against Norwich City, he slotted in a goal with his shoulder and gave a very muted celebration – something many people would never understand. He was very instrumental in securing the first English Premier League title for the Citizens, as he set up his strike partner Sergio Aguero who slotted it in.
There was a time Cudicini was named the best keeper in the English top flight. He did wonders for Chelsea under Claudio Ranieri. However, his spell at the Bridge took a different turn with the arrival of Petr Cech. He started seeing time on the bench, and when he couldn’t take it any longer, he moved to Spurs, and also did well for them.
Now, Ruud Gullit started a European revolution at Chelsea and one of the players he deemed fit to help him achieve this was Vialli, and he arrived at the Bridge as a free agent in 1996. He was among the squad that won the FA cup in his first season, and was regularly on the score sheet for the Blues. However, he did not have enough game time under Gullit. In 1998, he was made a player manager in the club and took over the position of Gullit just at the age of 33. He did other wonders and that included securing an FA cup title for the Blues and taking them to the third position and a Champions League spot – the highest they’d ever achieved at that time.
Eranio was doing so well before he moved to Derby County, and his exploits at the club made them to induct him into the League of Legends in 2006. His career began in 1984 and much was not expected of him by many people at the beginning. However, he consistently churned out star performances for the Rams when Jim White was at the helm of affairs. He featured for them 95 times before heading back for Italy. Even today, many fans still consider him as one of the greatest of all time to adorn the white shirt of the Rams.
Many people were surprised when the man with grey hair left Juventus for Teeside in 1996 after winning the Champions League with them the previous year. The striker bagged a hat trick on his first day at the office against Liverpool, and this made him a very revered cult hero at the Riverside. But just like some adventures of life, there was no happy ending to it. He was the highest paid player in the Premier League then. However, the Italian’s spell at the club was marred by heavy criticism of the club’s methods and the town its situated in. He later went on loan to Derby County and surprisingly followed it up with a move to Dundee.
Roberto Di Matteo
He was very instrumental to the resurgence of Chelsea in the late 90s. He has a method of play that made the fans love him, and that included his box to box style and long range passing skill. The Stamford Bridge outfit recorded huge success during his spell, owing to his partnership with Denise Wise, before he suffered a leg break that ended his career. He later came back as a manager and gave the club its most memorable night in history – the Champions League victory of 2012.
Paolo Di Canio
Charismatic, fiery, and full of talent, he was shunned by Sheffield Wednesday and other clubs in the Premier League for pushing Paul Alcock while he was refereeing a game. However, West Ham accepted him. He went ahead to repay them with wonderful performances that involved a huge display of skills.
He played with Diego Maradona at Napoli, made the European Team of the Year in 1995 and made many World Cup squads. Before he moved to the Bridge, he was a player of the topmost quality already. However, he rose to legendary status at the Bridge. His goal scoring ability, plus dribbling and silky skills all took him to the position of the greatest player to have graced the blue shirt, and in honour of him, the club retired the No. 25 shirt.