Farewell Italy, time for a revolution

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By FourFourTwo guest columnist Riccardo Rossi of Serie Aaaaargh!

Not since Rudi Voeller and Frank Rijkaard had their little spat (or spit) at Italia 90 have we seen such a dodgy moustache in a major tournament.

Not content with failing to score in four games at Euro 2008, Luca Toni decided to heap more embarrassment upon himself by turning out for Italy's quarter-final against Spain looking more like a ’70s porn star than the dashing Latin lover he was so obviously attempting to imitate.

Certainly, the Spanish defence failed to fall for his charms and the giant frontman spent most of Sunday’s tedious 120 minutes stumbling around like a drunk at chucking out time – even managing to do a spot of defending for the opposition when he deflected a cross out of the path of the Fabio Grosso.

Luca Toni and 'that' moustache

Italy’s performance in Austria and Switzerland was enough to drive most Italians to drink but at least now everyone can get on with enjoying the summer and wonder if Jose Mourinho will actually get round to buying Frank Lampard.

Of course, there are some good things to come out of the country’s early exit across the Alps.

It’s time for a revolution and a sweeping away of the old guard for once and all.

So that’s the end of the line for Alessandro Del Piero and Marco Materazzi who should never have been considered in the first place while Massimo Ambrosini and Christian Panucci can also sail off into international retirement.

Roberto Donadoni should remain but only if he promises to start promoting fresh faces and the launch of new glittering era with the likes of Riccardo Montolivo, Sebastian Giovinco, Giuseppe Rossi brought in for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

End of the line for Del Boy and Matrix

Giorgio Chiellini proved everyone wrong and despite being hailed as a walking disaster even before he kicked Fabio Cannavaro, the Juventus defender was Italy’s man-of-the-match against the Spanish.

Andrea Pirlo’s invention was sorely missed but will be back although the Roma pair of Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Aquilani should now be first-choice midfielders through the middle of the pitch.

It would be nice to think that the national team could follow the model of Luciano Spalletti’s Roma and play with a similar style and freedom of movement that Russia have been employing with great success. Maybe then they will not only win some games but some friends as well.