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It's your own fault, says Obiang

Filed: Wednesday, 15th November 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang says that Italy's failure to qualify for next summer's World Cup Finals is the result of too many foreigners in the youth systems of Serie A clubs.

The Spanish midfielder spent five years in Italy having moved from Atletico Madrid to Sampdoria as a 16-year-old, so is ideally placed to comment on the emphasis on attracting foreign talent.

And whilst that policy may boost the chances of Serie A clubs competing at the highest level in European club competition, the effect on the national team has been devastating, according to the Hammers midfielder.

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Last night the Azzurri failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1958 after failing to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of their World Cup qualifying play off against Sweden.

And according to the 25-year-old Hammer, that is largely due to the sheer number of non-domestic players involved at Serie A clubs and their secondary squads. "In your Academies there is more attention paid to foreigners," Obiang told Il Secondo XIX in the wake of Italy's exit.

"But it is pointless to make scapegoats of foreigners - after all you have won the World Cup with [Argentine-born] Mauro Camoranesi and [Brazilian born] Eder has scored some great goals for Italy."

Gian Piero Ventura's side were sent crashing out of the tournament after drawing 0-0 with the Swedes, having lost the first leg 1-0. A tearful Gianlugi Buffon announced his international retirement immediately after the final whistle.

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