In the last World Cup, Napoli had three players on Italy's roster. This time around there are only two, and just one of those is a holdover from one of the more disappointing Italy performances in recent times. Christian Maggio will be hoping to help Italy put in a better showing this time around, as well as help Lorenzo Insigne through the trials of competing on such a huge stage.
Maggio has a bit of a hill to climb just to make the final 23-man roster, though, as he's played just once since March thanks to the collapsed lung that required emergency surgery to correct. He's been working hard to get himself back in to playing shape, though, and between his shift against Sampdoria at the weekend and this callup, it would seem that his work has paid off.
In the wake of the roster announcement, Maggio's agent Massimo Mriaschi spoke with Tuttomercatoweb about what this means for his client. “Christian’s inclusion in Prandelli’s squad of 30 is obviously very important news and I see it as the crowning moment for all the lad’s hard work,” he said. “Christian is coming off a very serious injury and the fact Prandelli called him makes us both very enthusiastic. The objective is to be in the final list of 23. Maggio will work to convincePrandelli he can go to Brazil.”
As for Insigne, his inclusion should come as no surprised. He's had a very strong campaign despite some finishing woes, and has done a tremendous all-round job on the pitch. Cesare Prandelli obviously recognized the diminutive attacker's contributions, as he's spoken well of Insigne on several occasions in recent months. He faces tough competition to make the final roster in a loaded group of forwards, but if anyone will put in the work needed, it's Naples' favorite son.
“We knew Prandelli would put his faith in Lorenzo, now the next step is to get into the final 23,” Insigne's agent said in his own Tuttomercato interview. “We hope Lorenzo can go to Brazil, but have to wait for Prandelli’s definitive call-ups. Of course he was happy and aspires to the final call. He feels satisfied with the work done so far. He cares a lot and knows this call-up can bring some positive results.”
Neither player has any real lock on a final roster spot, but both should feel confident as long as they come out of this weekend's final match healthy and put in good work in the upcoming training camp. Insigne in particular seems to stand a good chance of making the roster given his versatility and ability to make an impact off the bench. Maggio will get a boost thanks to being a regular in the National side under Prandelli, but faces stiff competition from Ignazio Abate, Mattia De Sciglio, and Matteo Darmian for a roster spot and playing time.
No matter what happens in the end, both players should be proud of what they've accomplished to get this far. It's no easy task to even be considered for the World Cup roster for a country such as Italy, and now they have just one hurdle left before getting to experience World Cup glory. Good luck, boys.