Relatively few Italian players have appeared in the Premier League, particularly in recent years. However, these seven players have stood out from the crowd:
One of the most controversial players in Premier League history although clearly possessing all the necessary talent, Balotelli spent two and-a-half years at Manchester City. During that time, he ruffled a few feathers and was rarely out of the headlines, but he provided some flashes of brilliance.
A goalkeeper with a fantastic shot-stopping ability, Cudicini was a key player for Chelsea under Claudio Ranieri, winning the club’s Player of the year award in 2002. Even when Petr Cech replaced him as first-choice, there were few better understudies than Cudicini, who later had a spell with Tottenham.
Paolo Di Canio
An unconventional approach to management is severely threatening to overshadow Di Canio’s playing career, during which he was never shy of commitment and effort, often producing moments of star quality. Especially successful at West Ham United, he scored a total of 67 Premier League goals.
Roberto Di Matteo
A Chelsea legend who went on to manage the club to Champions League and FA Cup glory in 2012, as a player Di Matteo will be remembered for scoring decisive goals in two FA Cup finals, in 1997 and 2000. He had a particular talent for scoring goals from long-range, with strikes from distance contributing a large portion of his 26 Premier League goals, before injury ended his career.
Another Chelsea legend, Zola spent seven years at the club between 1996 and 2003. During that time he scored many memorable goals, won two FA Cup winners’ medals, and helped the Blues make an impact in the Champions League for the first time. Overall, he scored 59 Premier League goals in 229 appearances, and was named the best ever Chelsea player by fans in 2003, shortly before his departure..
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