Federico Marchetti has upset Juventus fans in enough instances already this season. Over the course of three meetings with the Bianconeri, the Lazio goalkeeper pulled off a string of bewildering saves, earning his team a 0-0 draw in the league before helping them to a 3-2 aggregate victory in the Coppa Italia semi-final.
Now he has his sights set on an even loftier goal: displacing Gigi Buffon as Italy’s No1 goalkeeper. Or at least that’s what the papers claimed on Tuesday morning. It was a somewhat heavy-handed interpretation of a quote from the player himself, who had simply told them that: “Everyone knows how good Gigi is, but I hope to be there at the Confederations Cup in June.”
Marchetti would, of course, prefer to start in Brazil, yet the suspicion is that even a place on the bench would be an honour. It was, after all, only this week that the goalkeeper received his first call-up in two-and-a-half years. Not since Italy’s disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign had Marchetti played any part for the national team.
Thrust into a starting role back then by an injury to Buffon, Marchetti was hardly the chief culprit in Italy’s demise, though he has himself observed that, “Everybody could have done more”. Italy drew 1-1 with Paraguay and New Zealand before being eliminated by a 3-2 defeat to Slovakia. Marchetti made mistakes in that last game, beaten at the near post for the second goal, but the team as a whole had been dismal.
It was not those performances however which led Cesare Prandelli to overlook Marchetti in the years that followed. Instead what derailed the player’s international career—and indeed his club career, for a period—was nothing more than a careless comment to a newspaper.
Marchetti had been playing for Cagliari at the time of the World Cup, but shortly after Italy’s elimination he told a Gazzetta dello Sport journalist that he had sought a move to Sampdoria. “In the end I cost too much [for Samp to pay], so I stayed at Cagliari,” he said, before insisting he was content with that outcome. “I have such strong feelings for this club.”
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