Last week Antonio Conte announced his Italian squad for the pre-2016 UEFA European Championship friendlies. The Italian coach put forward a strong 28-man squad for the upcoming matches; the Azzurri face Spain at the Stadio Friuli in Udine on March 24 and then travel to the Allianz Arena in Munich to play Germany five days later. However, despite calling up a robust team, one player noticeably missing from the roster was Sebastian Giovinco.
The former Juventus player left Italy just over a year ago to join Major League Soccer side Toronto FC, where the pint-size Torinese has become a giant in both his club and the league.
While Italians may not be as shocked that Giovinco was left off Conte’s list, most North Americans (and international MLS enthusiasts) were left scratching their heads: how could Conte not call up one of—if not the—best players in North America?
However, should Giovinco’s successes in North America earn him a place on the Azzurri squad? Why isn’t the Atomic Ant being considered as a shoe-in for EURO 2016? And, is Conte crazy not to automatically consider him as an integral player? Turns out, the answers are not as black-and-white as one would think.
With that in mind, to help Conte make a decision for his final, official European Championship squad, we’ve come up with the following list of Pros for, and Cons against, Giovinco being called up to play for the national team.