Leonardo Talamonti (Atalanta), defender, 26 – first arrived in Italy in 2004 when he joined Lazio from Rosario Central. However he returned back to his homeland with River Plate a year later. The stopper has spent the last two seasons on loan at Atalanta, but he made just nine Serie A appearances last term.
Tissone (Atalanta), midfielder, 21 – talented young midfielder, who was picked
up by Udinese’s renowned scouting network while playing for Lanus in 2005. Despite showing promise he
joined Atalanta a year later. Last season he had a fine campaign, playing 35
times in Serie A, scoring three goals.
Pellegrino (Atalanta), defender, 28 - the younger brother of former Valencia
hero Mauricio had played his entire career at Velez Sarsfield before joining
Atalanta last summer. The giant centre back had a sound debut campaign, making
26 league outings.
Larrivey (Cagliari), striker, 23 – came to Sardinia last summer with a big reputation from Huracan,
and was labelled by some as the ‘new Gabriel Batistuta’. However things did not
go according to plan for Larrivey, and he scored just one goal all season.
Bizzarri (Catania), goalkeeper, 30 – had spent
most of his career in Spain
after originally leaving Racing Club for Real Madrid in 1999, also playing for
Real Valladolid and Gimnastic. Arrived on Italian shores with Catania last year, but mainly played second
fiddle to number one Ciro Polito.
defender, 23 – grew up in the Boca Juniors youth team, and graduated into the
seniors, winning a host of medals, including the Copa Libertadores. He arrived
on loan at Catania
in January, helping them avoid relegation, and could now make the move
Izco (Catania), midfielder, 25 – skilful
midfielder who joined Catania from Tigre in 2006. Featured
heavily last season, playing 32 times, and is perhaps best remembered for
performing two nutmegs in succession during a match against Juventus.
defender, 24 - yet another Argentine plying his trade at the Stadio Massimino.
Like Silvestre, also arrived in January of this year, from Estudiantes, but
only played six times before the end of the campaign.
Ledesma (Catania), midfielder, 24 – Catania’s big summer
signing so far. A former River Plate youth team graduate, Ledesma has
been a crucial player at Boca since joining them from Talleres in 2003. He
helped them win the Copa Libertadores, four Argentine titles and an
Mario Santana (Fiorentina), winger, 26 – despite his
relatively young age, Santana is something of a Serie A veteran now, having
appeared for Venezia, Palermo and Chievo Verona since arriving from San Lorenzo
in 2002. A skilful and tricky winger, the Argentine international has been at
Fiorentina since 2006.
Pablo Osvaldo (Fiorentina), striker, 22 – a star of the
Italy Under-21s, Osvaldo is one of the peninsula’s most promising young
forwards. Osvaldo, a dual Argentine and Italian citizen, was born in Buenos Aires and made his
name at Huracan before being snapped up by Atalanta in 2006. He then moved on
before the Viola came calling last summer. Scored five Serie A goals in his
debut campaign, including the crucial winner against Torino
on the last day that took the Tuscans into the Champions League.
Luciano Figueroa (Genoa),
striker, 27 – best known for his spell at Villarreal between 2004 and 2006,
Figueroa has had something of an injury nightmare in recent years. An
intelligent striker, he joined Genoa
in 2006, and showed signs of working his way back to his best form last season.
He has scored nine goals in just 15 games for his country.
Javier Zanetti (Inter), defender/midfielder, 34 – utility
man who has become a legend at Inter since joining from Banfield
in 1995. Argentina’s
most capped player, Il Trattore has won three consecutive Scudetti with the
Nerazzurri and will undoubtedly go down as one of the club’s all time greats.
Julio Cruz (Inter), striker, 34 – one of the most
under-rated strikers in Serie A during his eight years in the peninsula. Three
fine years at Bologna
saw him join Inter in 2003, and despite often being used as a substitute he has
never disappointed, with an almost one-in-two scoring record.
Nicolas Burdisso (Inter), defender, 27 – joined Inter in
2004 from Boca Juniors, and has won many trophies despite being something of a
critic-splitter. Mainly a backup, his versatility along the backline has been
useful, even if he had a poor season last campaign.
Hernan Crespo (Inter), striker, 33 – absolutely prolific
striker, who is approaching the end of a superb career. Crespo has excelled at
a whole host of Serie A clubs since joining Parma
from River Plate in 1996, scoring goals galore for the Gialloblu, Lazio, Inter,
Milan, and then
Inter again. Played in three World Cups for his country, and has scored 36
goals in just 65 international games.
Esteban Cambiasso (Inter), midfielder, 27 – one of the best
holding midfielders in the world, Cambiasso has been a revelation since his
free transfer move from Real Madrid in 2004. Some consider the bald-headed
schemer as Massimo Moratti’s best-ever signing.
Walter Samuel (Inter), defender, 30 – nicknamed ‘The Wall’,
Samuel is an old-school defender who takes no prisoners. Had four superb years
at Roma, helping them to the Scudetto in 2001, before returning to Serie A with
Inter in 2005 after an unhappy year at Real Madrid. Has been troubled with
injuries at San Siro.
Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), winger, 31 – plays his
international football for Italy,
but of course was Argentine-born. Has only ever played one season in his
homeland, with Banfield in 1997/98. Joined Verona in 2000, and then Juventus two years
later, picking up a host of honours. Also won the World Cup with the Azzurri in
Sergio Almiron (Juventus), midfielder, 27 - son of the 1986 World Cup winner by the same name, Almiron Jr spent his formative years at Newells Old Boys before moving to Udinese in 2001. Spells at Verona and Empoli followed, and he impressed so much at the latter that Juve took the chance to sign him last summer. Despite being tagged the 'new Sebastian Veron', Almiron struggled badly, and was shipped off on loan in January to Monaco. Is likely to be sold permanently this summer to a new club.
David Trezeguet (Juventus), striker, 30 - one of the most prolific strikers ever to have played in Italy since arriving from Monaco in 2000, with over 150 goals at a rate of just under 0.60. Trezeguet may play his international football for France, but his father is from Argentina. David's first club in fact was Platense, who are based in Greater Buenos Aires.
Cristian Ledesma (Lazio), midfielder, 25 – widely recognised
as one of Lazio’s best players, Ledesma grew up in the Boca Juniors youth team
before being picked up as a teenager by Lecce
in 2001. He moved to Lazio in 2006 and had a brilliant first season, helping
them into the Champions League. Not so impressive last campaign.
Juan Pablo Carrizo (Lazio), goalkeeper, 24 – one of South
America’s most highly rated young goalkeepers, Carrizo was due to sign for
Lazio from River Plate last summer before paperwork problems. He will instead
make the move in time for the 2008/09 season.
Grimi (Milan), defender, 23 – has found little space at Milan since joining in
2007 from Racing Club, first being loaned out to Siena, and then to Sporting
Lisbon in January this year. Latest rumours suggest that this deal could become
Lavezzi (Napoli), striker, 23 – a revelation
in his first season at the club, winning comparisons to the club’s greatest
ever player, Diego Maradona. Lavezzi is an explosive forward with an extremely
bright future. Like Maradona, the former San Lorenzo man has a hot streak after
being involved in a furious, and somewhat hilarious, road rage incident in Naples last year.
Denis (Napoli), striker, 27 – Denis will be
Lavezzi’s partner up-front after just joining from Independiente, where he was
prolific. Nicknamed ‘The Tank’, Denis has had an unsuccessful spell in Italy before with Cesena in 2002/03 where he scored just three
goals. However he is tipped to do much better this time around.
Navarro (Napoli), goalkeeper, 23 – Navarro joined Napoli from Argentinos
Juniors last season, having won the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup with his country.
Made three Serie A starts last term.
Paolo Dellafiore (Palermo), defender, 23 – born
in Buenos Aires, but moved to Italy as a
youngster. Grew up in the Inter youth academy before being sold to Palermo in 2006. Spent
last season on loan at Torino. Has chosen to
play his international football for Italy, and is a current member of
the Pierluigi Casiraghi’s Under-21s.
Campagnaro (Sampdoria), defender, 28 – had an excellent first season for
Sampdoria, helping them qualify for the UEFA Cup. His displays have led to
interest from Juventus, however he is likely to stay at the Stadio Ferraris.
Prior to joining Samp, he spent five years at Piacenza,
who picked him up from Buenos Aires-outfit Moron in 2002.