Di Canio: Young players today lack drive

Premier League legend Paolo Di Canio has spoken out against English football’s celebrity culture, claiming it tempts young players into caring too much about money and not enough about football. In an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo, Di Canio echoes the words of Frank Lampard in saying the financial excess of the English game lowers young players’ motivation. The full interview can be read in the new issue of FourFourTwo, out now. “All this money does make things difficult, especially with young players,” he says. “You earn £70,000 a week and maybe motivation becomes a problem. That’s natural. When you’re 18 or 19 there are distractions anyway, whether you’re earning that sort of money or not.” Lampard has been less forgiving about football’s young stars, saying, “Not enough of them have the dedication” and suggesting a return to the days of players cleaning the elder statesmens’ boots. But Di Canio blames the culture of modern football, not individual malaise. “It’s the same in Italy,” he says. “They’re part of this celebrity culture. If there aren’t players out and about at two in the morning, people think there’s something wrong. “This is the modern way of life for a footballer, with all the media attention. That wasn’t there when I was playing.” Di Canio’s interview is part of a special England supplement accompanying the new issue of FourFourTwo, featuring exclusive interviews with the foreign stars who made their name in England – Juninho, Peter Schmeichel and Di Canio. Also in the new issue: • Interviews with Kaka, Arshavin, Terry, Motty, Stam, Dave Mackay & the Chuckle Brothers • The Top 50 Football League Players • Football’s Top 20 Hoaxes • The Best Youth Team Ever • Inside The Damned United • Swansea vs Cardiff