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Inter v Udinese becomes first match in Serie A history to field no Italians

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Inter Milan beat Udinese 3-1 on Saturday in what was the first game in Serie A history not to feature a single Italian in the starting XIs.

The Premier League is well-accustomed to international players but it's surprising to hear that no native players were on the pitch as the first whistle blew in one of Europe's major leagues.

If two teams were to lay claim to this record it would be Inter and Udinese who are particularly fond of utilizing non-Italian talent, with the former's origin coming about after members of Milan Football and Cricket club (later AC Milan) broke away to form their own team after becoming disgruntled with the rule forbidding non-Italians from joining. The new club name represented their new multicultural ethos - Internazionale.

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Udinese are owned by the Pozzo family who also own Granada in Spain and Watford in the Premier League and their lack of homegrown talent is also not surprising due to the Pozzo's policy of cycling through their players around the trio of clubs.

Serie A has been running since 1929 but for much of its 87-year history, Italians were the mainstay of the squads until the "three foreigner rule" was abolished in 1995, making it entirely possible for teams to be formed entirely of overseas-born players.

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Inter were the first to field a team absent Italians during the 2007/08 season (Julio Cesar, Maicon, Ivan Cordoba, Christian Chivu, Maxwell, Javier Zanetti, Dejan Stankovic, Esteban Cambiasso, Cesar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Julio Cruz).

And this season Inter have just six Italians in their squad, with Eder the only first team regular but even the striker was restricted to a substitute appearance during Saturday's clash.

FC Internazionale Milano v Udinese Calcio - Serie A

Likewise, Udinese possess just seven Italians in their 32-man squad, with 38-year-old Antonio Di Natale and Francesco Lodi the only regulars.

The record broken on Saturday was inevitable given the ease and frequency which transfers are made in the modern day. Nevertheless, it shows that Antonio Conte's replacement as Italy boss has a tough job ahead.

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Topics:
Football
Serie A
Inter Milan
Stevan Jovetic
Italy Football

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