The DNA of Italian and Argentinian football is very closely entwined meaning that it’s been no surprise that the major clubs of Serie A have so often looked to import footballers from the River Plate to improve their teams.
Tactically astute, adaptable, technically gifted and canny operators: Argentinian players have been the bedrock of the Italian game since the early days of Monti and Orsi in the 1930s
Sergio Romero (Sampdoria)
A reliable and mobile 'keeper who joined Sampdoria in 2013 from Dutch side AZ. His early form was impressive and he spent a season on loan at Monaco before moving on to Manchester United. Current Argentine international keeper.
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Javier Zanetti (Internazionale)
A model of adaptability, longevity and professionalism; Zanetti joined Inter in 1995 and remained a mainstay for the nerazzurri for the next 19 years. Nominally a right-back, Zanetti could play just as well in either full-back position or anywhere across midfield. Image Source: Twitter
Roberto Sensini (Udinese, Parma, Lazio)
Another long-serving and adaptable player, Sensini spent 17 successful seasons in Italy with three different clubs and played as a solid, no-nonsense left-back, centre half or defensive midfielder.
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Daniel Passarella (Fiorentina, Internazionale)
Argentina’s 1978 World Cup-winning captain brought his defensive prowess, fierce drive and strong leadership qualities to Italy and Fiorentina in 1982. Following four successful seasons there he moved on to Inter late in his career and spent two largely well-received seasons at the San Siro.
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Walter Samuel (Roma, Internazionale)
Considered as a ferociously hard defender even by Argentinian standards, Samuel made his name with Roma before spending an unsuccessful season with Real Madrid where general defensive play was largely neglected. The centre half was much more at home at the San Siro where he spent the next nine success-laden seasons. Image Source: Twitter
Esteban Cambiasso (Internazionale)
The tenacious and energetic midfielder never quite established himself with Real Madrid, so a move to Inter in 2004 proved a step forward in his career. He stayed for a hugely successful decade commanding the middle of the park and the protection he provided his defence played a major role in what was a hugely successful era for Inter. Image Source: Tumblr
Diego Simeone (Pisa, Internazionale, Lazio)
Another classically Argentinian midfield enforcer who could create as well as destroy. Simeone started out with minnows Pisa before making his name in Spain and earning a move to Inter when he was in his prime. He ran Inter’s midfield for two seasons and did the same thing at Lazio for four seasons after that. Image Source: Twitter
Juan Sebastián Verón (Sampdoria, Parma, Lazio, Internazionale)
His time in English football never quite ignited, but Verón will be remembered primarily for his sublime midfield creativity during his early spell with Sampdoria, then the peak trophy winning years with Parma and Lazio. His European career ended as it began, in Serie A with a spell on loan at Internazionale. Image Source: Twitter
Gabriel Batistuta. (Fiorentina, Roma, Internazionale)
Batigoal was a dynamic force of nature who almost single-handedly lifted Fiorentina to the fringes of competitiveness with his goals and all round drive. Late in his career at the age of 31 he signed expensively for Roma and his goals inspired the capital club to the scudetto in his debut season there.
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Diego Maradona (Napoli)
More than just one of the greatest players in the history of the game, Maradona also possessed the sheer force of nature to lift an also-ran club like Napoli to two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990. His career there ended in ignominy but he’s remembered to this day in the city as a near deity.
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Hernan Crespo (Parma, Lazio, Internazionale, Milan, Genoa)
There have been few arch-predators as deadly as Hernan Crespo who was much admired in Italy for his Italian style qualities. A penalty box player who relied on guile, cunning and clinical one-touch finishing, Crespo was a major scoring threat for every team he played for during his long career.
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SEE ALSO: The Roma south sea bubble of 1963 that almost forced a merger with Lazio
This gallery features a team starring many of the very best Argentinian footballers to have lit up Serie A with their talent.
A noticeable element is how strong an influence Argentinian players have been on Internazionale – no fewer than seven of the players from this selection played at some stage of their careers with the nerazzurri.