Oliver Bierhoff Slams 'Crisis-Stricken' Italian Football

Posted by admin on Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Due to an ageing national team, as well as deficiencies in infrastructure, stadia and team quality, Italian football is in crisis, says Oliver Bierhoff.
Ahead of his country's friendly with Italy next Wednesday, Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff had critical words to say of the state of the Azzurri and Calcio.

"The Squadra Azzurra reflects the crisis in Italian football. It's no coincidence that the Bundesliga has overtaken Serie A in the five-year rankings for the European Cup spots," he told Fussball.de.

"Take a look at the infrastructure, the stadiums, the balance of the league and the level of teams: German football is currently better."

Bierhoff was careful to add that Italy will nonetheless be no pushovers.

"We will measure ourselves against very good, old rivals. After our World Cup performance in South Africa, the Italians will be highly motivated to beat us. This is a real test for us and a chance to simulate a real competitive situation."

"For morale and confidence, this is very important. We want to continue on the path we've taken since the 2010 World Cup."

However, he added that Italy have an ageing squad and are relatively short of fresh talent.

"Many players from 2006 are no longer there. Others are already in their later years as footballers," he said. "The Italians do not have the young options we have. The Squadra Azzurra reflects the crisis of Italian football."

While Germany coach Joachim Loew has yet to officially announce his squad for next week's friendly, he is expected to nominate a young squad including recent additions Mats Hummels and Mario Goetze. The friendly match will take place next Wednesday, February 9, at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park.