Italy: Does Claudio Marchisio Still Have A Guaranteed Spot for the World Cup?

By Riccardo Di Julio
Claudio Marchisio
Picture provided by the FIGC official Facebook page

Without a doubt, 2013 wasn’t a great year for Juventus‘ midfielder Claudio Marchisio. As a matter of fact, taking into consideration some unfortunate physical problems and, most importantly, the explosion of his fellow teammate Paul Pogba, the Principino has, by all means, lost the privilege of being a main starter not only in his club but also in the national team.

Furthermore, back in 2012, it was practically impossible for fans and journalists to even think about this happening considering that, during that year, the 27-year-old had finally consecrated as a questioned point of reference for Italian soccer.

For sure, thanks to his great and performances, he is to be considered one of the main characters who helped Juventus win its first Scudetto after the Serie B experience, which was won without losing any game. Moreover, he was also relevant in the excellent Italian adventure in the European Championship, in which the Azzurri were only beaten in the final by Spain.

In that tournament, in fact, Marchisio was able to combine great quality with an even greater deal of physical endurance, that allowed him to play every single game of the championship. Even more, as he was required by the boss Cesare Prandelli to do the so-called dirty work, he had a crucial role both at protecting Andrea Pirlo defensively and at making the cutting offensive runs that allowed the team to gain depth into the opponent’s field.

His performance against Croatia in the second game of the group stage was simply outstanding, as properly praised by Prandelli himself.

As of today, however, Marchisio’s great form of 2012 seems light years away the current situation, that sees him far behind in Antonio Conte‘s personal ranking compared to Pirlo, Pogba and Arturo Vidal. As a consequence of this, his spot has been put in serious risk by many in regard to the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

For Prandelli, the player is not untouchable anymore, especially if he will continue to use the 4-3-2-1 formation of the last months, in which other players, such as Emanuele Giaccherini and Antonio Candreva, have gained more importance for the lineup’s effectiveness.

As a result of this, AC Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo, who used to play as the attacking midfielder, would be forced to play in the three-man line, along with the untouchables Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi. Marchisio could also pay the reestablishment of Thiago Motta, who seems to be having a second youth at PSG.

For all these reasons, the Principino will most likely turn out to be Prandelli’s fifth option for the three-man midfield line. This means that even though he will probably be called-up for Brazil, he doesn’t seem to have many chances of actually adding minutes in the field in what will be the second World Cup of his career.

Riccardo Di Julio is a Soccer Writer for Follow him on Twitter @Italcatenaccio and add him to your network on Google.

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