I've been preaching these sentiments for quite some time now. Gio is a highly skilled play maker who would benefit mightily by adopting an attacking mid/wing role. His diminutive size and strength limit him as a singular last man striker. Don't know why he or his coaches can't see this...
To be honest this was the only time that I saw Giovinco as a striker (and it was an emergency: we only had two strikers in the squad, Balotelli out with an injury and Gilardino had no more gas at all). In Juve he's always used in support of the striker.
But the truth, like I said before, is that Giovinco isn't adequate for high levels.
He will have very good matches vs the Siena's, Cagliari's, Nordsjaelland's or Japan's of this world. And that's it.
- Prandelli likes to have a midfield with complete players who are good with the ball in their feet, are flexible and can contribute both defensively and offensively. In other words, no Gattusos anymore. Other than Pirlo who is the clear cut playmaker, all other midfielders can rotate positions almost indifferently
Jasi, how much do you think a Fiorentina jersey might be?
Official jerseys (replicas) are usual around 70-80 euro here.
Here's the official store: the 2012-13 kit is 70 now.
If you wait a few days, the new ones (2013-2014) will be announced *, so you will have the choice to take those (at around the same price I guess), or the old ones at a lower price.
The third jersey from the 2012-13 kit is awesome and is offered at 55 euro only.
Of course it will not work if you are interested in a straightforward "viola" jersey, but it did have a lot of commercial success because it's made after the very first Fiorentina jersey, so there's a lot of history/emotion attached, at least for the Fiorentina fans. Also, it is actually quite nice aesthetically - but I guess no one in Spain (or Slovakia) will know you are wearing a Fiorentina jersey.
I do not know if you can find Fiorentina kits in stores in Spain but I would think so, since the provider is spanish itself (Joma); so maybe you can even find it at a lower price in Madrid... I am not sure though.
* nothing is know about them yet, except the third one will be dark grey.
So I'm not a hardcore soccer fan but how exactly did Spain build such a dominant team??? From what I remember they were considered perennial under achievers before this current run.
A combination of a lot of factors of course, but I think these are the most relevant:
1) An extremely talented 1984-1988 generation (grown up in excellent football schools). Torres, Iniesta, Navas, Silva, Ramos, Pique, Fabregas, Pedro, Mata, Busquets, Javi Martinez are all in that age group. (Xavi is the "outlier" since he's an 1980).
2) The adoption of the tiqui taca style of play perfected during Guardiola's tenure at Barcelona (from 2008 on).
In my (maybe biased) opinion, the turning point was the win vs Italy at Euro 2008.
It doesn't matter that it only came after penalty kicks, because it was the sheer point of getting past Italy that mattered.
Italy were the reigning World Champions (in 2006) and Spain were considered, like you said, perennial underachievers. Spain's team in 2006 was already talented, featuring a lot of stars of the current winning generation (Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Villa, Torres...) but they were eliminated by France, who would then reach the finals only to be beaten by Italy.
So I think a huge psychological "block" was removed when they got the best of Italy in 2008. And that's were they started to dominate, exploiting the tiqui taca style.