World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro has voiced his concerns over the state of Italian football.
Juventus reached the Champions League final in 2014-15, yet no other Serie A side has made it to the final of a European competition in the past five seasons.
Consequently, Cannavaro believes that the Bianconeri’s achievement was an anomaly rather than evidence that the country is experiencing a revival.
“Italian football is not going through a good moment, regardless of last season’s Champions League final,” the 41-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Nobody has the courage to change, to invest in young players and in a good infrastructure. I get sad when I walk by Napoli’s San Paolo stadium.”
Cannavaro then went on to lament the state of defending in modern day football as he feels there is too much emphasis on passing the ball.
“I really feel there are no longer defenders around like back in the day,” the former Juve centre-half stated.
“There was a time when it was enough to focus on actually defending well. Nowadays, they want defenders to pass the ball. They are taught to follow the ball rather than their opponents.
“How is it possible that attackers score 60 goals a season these days? Surely defenders have to take the blame for that…”
Cannavaro still sees plenty of strong defenders around in the game, though, even if he feels Paris Saint-Germain overpaid for David Luiz.
“Brazilian defender are apparently those who do best in the transfer market,” the ex-Italy captain added. “If David Luiz costs €50 million…
“Personally, I like Jerome Boateng. He is physically strong. The partnership of Pepe and Sergio Ramos also remains one of the best for me.”