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Top five Italians to play in Premier League: Liverpool striker behind Chelsea legends

As the England national side prepares to face Italy in a friendly on Tuesday night, there is just one player in the Azzuri squad that is based the Barclays Premier League. A strange fact when you think about the Italians that have graced the English game in the past.

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The first Italian to play in the Barclays Premier League was Andrea Silenzi for Nottingham Forest (v Coventry City, 9 September, 1995), while Fabrizio Ravanelli was the first Italian to score in the league for Middlesbrough against Liverpool on 17 August, 1996.

But it’s not just players, managers too have enjoyed large success in England’s top tier.

Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo have all managed Chelsea, with the latter winning a first Champions League trophy for the Blues.

Then there is Roberto Mancini who lead Manchester City to a first league title in over 40 years and also won the FA Cup.

While Attilio Lombardo, Gianfranco Zola and Paolo Di Canio all had managerial stints in England with Crystal Palace, West Ham and Sunderland respectively

Take a look at the five Italian players who have made the biggest impact in England…

5) Mario Balotelli (Manchester City & Liverpool)

Mario Balotelli - Man City

PL Apps: 67

PL Goals: 21

It was his assist that Sergio Aguero scored from to clinch the title for Man City in 2012, without it and they would not have been champions.

Is also the only Italian to have ever won a league title in England.

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