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The Italian Connection

As you may have noticed from the title, this post is related to Italy. The reason behind this is that, and Belgian football fans would’ve noticed, that there are numerous players who have connections to Belgium, because that’s where they were born, but through Italian heritage. Going back to when I’d consider buying Walter Baseggio years ago from Anderlecht on Football Manager, I originally thought he may well have been Italian, but representing Belgium. But I was wrong and not for the first time.

Even when I’ve looked through the teams, and I may have missed some, even if I double checked first, there are a number who descend from southern Europe. With the players I’m almost certain who have a joint citizenship of sorts, you can get a starting 11, including a goalkeeper in Silvio Proto. It may seem lazy if he may in fact not be of Italian descent, but if he isn’t, why the full on Italian name.

We all know that Belgium is made up of diverse nationalities, whether it be direct via Holland and France, or further away like from Africa, but Italy? I tried to find the connection and the main connection is the fact that Italians simply emigrate. We know all about how they made their way to America, seeing as New York have a major Italian population, and closer to their home, Switzerland have Italian as one of their major languages. 

The only thing I can think is that they made their way north to then settle in Belgium eventually, and the one thing Italians love is football. Going through the league, some have turned up at one team e.g Genk and Beveren, or some have sporadically turned up at a club alone like Massimo Bruno, where you couldn’t frankly get more Italian if you tried. 

These players, however, will never be a burden. They all influence the Pro League for the better, and if they are eligible for Belgium, which they certainly are, then squeeze them in. Their passion and flair which lies beneath may indeed help the national team, albeit they are fantastic already.

This post may seem simple, boring(?), or…I don’t know, if anyone read this they’d have their own view. I guess i was just intrigued as English players seem to either be of Scottish, Welsh or Irish descent and i thought we could do with more Alessandros (Cordaro/Cerigioni) to add some flavour to England, and not just through our taste buds.

Talk soon



I am a father, a husband and a lover of football. Which order I do love all 3 is up to you to decide

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