Over the course of the coronavirus lockdown and absence of Serie A, and football in general across the world, our Italians Abroad series has chronicled the journeys of many Italian footballers to have displayed their skills outside the peninsula.
We’ve taken a look at how Italian exports have fared around Europe, from Spain, England, Germany and France to Switzerland, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Whether through winners medals around their necks, cult status, length of stay or records achieved, success can be extremely difficult to measure, however, as calcio returns we have attempted to list the top 10 Italian exports.
Reach out on Twitter and Facebook to let us know what you think of our top 10!
10. Thiago Motta – Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain
Some might argue that a career that has amassed 16 major trophies across three clubs in two different countries should feature higher in a list of the finest Italian exports, but the Brazilian-born Italian international first arrived in Europe with a South American passport.
Therefore, the midfielder could probably be expected to perform outside of the peninsula, as he had already travelled five thousand miles to join Barcelona in 1999 and even made friendly appearances for Brazil before becoming an established Italy international.
Eventually becoming part of Inter’s historic treble side in 2010, via Genoa, Motta then headed back overseas to Ligue 1, where the midfielder won 13 major honours with all-conquering Paris Saint-Germain.
9. Graziano Pelle – AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord, Southampton, Shandong Luneng
Despite winning just one league title during his career, with AZ in the Eredivisie, Pelle is one of the few players whose success abroad outshone his displays back in Serie A and provided a pathway to the Italian national team.
55 goals in 66 games for Feyenoord resulted in a move to Premier League side Southampton, where the striker’s performances made him an automatic choice for Italy at Euro 2016 and eventually resulted in a big-money move to Shandong Luneng in China where he still plays.