With the Italian national football team currently in a state of turmoil, having not qualified for the World Cup in Russia, Italians will no doubt yearn for the incredible range of strikers who once graced the blue of the azzurri. From winners and favourites, to no shows - we thought we would try and lift the gloomy cloud which surrounds the current crop of slightly average players, by pretending it's the year 2000. Close your eyes and imagine you're the italian national team manager of Italy, a few months before the European Championships in the Netherlands and Belgium and have to decide which striker to take to the Euro's. Trust me, it won't be easy...
Alessandro Del Piero, Juventus: 91 caps, 27 Goals
Perhaps one of the first names on the team sheet, let alone in the Squad - Del Piero was the all round leader of the front line. An incredibly graceful, two footed striker, Del Piero delivered free kicks and tap ins whilst threading stunning through balls to the more traditional goal poacher. A must for the squad.
Francesco Totti, AS Roma: 58 caps, 9 Goals
Capable of doing things with a ball, no other player in this list could really do. The leader of his Club, Francesco had just had an excellent 1999/00 season, scoring 16 goals in all competitions at the ripe age of 23. He, like Del Piero would be a criminal eviction from the 23 man squad, being world football's most promising young star.
Vincenzo Montella, AS Roma: 20 caps, 3 Goals
Having banged in an impressive 18 Serie League Goals in the 1999/00 season, Montella was red hot and lethal - the man in form. A prolific goal scorer on his day, Vincenzo was prone to the odd poor season, however like many strikers, when the confidence was high, Montella would be unplayable. Could've been a legend for his national team had the competition not been so fierce.
Christian Vieri, Inter Milan: 49 caps, 23 Goals
Overlook Christian at your perril. A bit of a graceful, one man battering ram - Vieri would always deliver on the big stage. Always scoring in tournaments, this highlighted his ability to come up with the goods when he was needed. With a left foot like his, We would very much struggle not to pick Vieri.
Gianfranco Zola, Chelsea: 35 caps, 10 Goals
35 Caps, is that all?! I hear you say. Yep, Gianfranco Zola never quite reached the dizzy heights whilst in the blue of Italy. Chelsea Fans would probably pick him every day of the week, but back in the day when the Premier League faced stiff competition from Serie A's glamour - Zola potentially wasn't picked as frequently as he deserved.
Fillippo Inzaghi, Juventus: 57 Caps, 25 Goals
Boasting an incredible goal scoring ratio, Inzaghi was the poacher of this list. Never one to venture too far out of the 6 yard box, Fillippo would so often come up with important winners throughout his career, for both club and country. Not everyone's favourite, he possessed the determination and greed in fron of goal which all the best strikers obtain. One nil down in the last 10 minutes and need an equaliser? Inzaghi's your man.
Marco Delvecchio, AS Roma: 22 Caps, 4 Goals
Very Hard-working and super adaptable - Marco Delvecchio earned himself a very creditable career. Always a Roma favourite, Marco often came up with important goals, notably being a very consistent goalscorer in the Rome Derby. If a few options aren't firing, or injuries have taken their toll on the squad, Marco Delvecchio would be a great selection we feel.
Fabrizio Ravanelli, Marseille: 22 Caps, 8 Goals
Deceptively quick, Fab was a very decent striker. Whilst perhaps not in his prime in 2000, Ravanelli still had the touch and grace to be selected - giving it all, every match. A journeyman during the latter stages of his career - this tournament may be a step too far, yet on his day he could impress. With a very respectable international goal scoring record to boot - he may be a great wildcard selection.
Roberto Baggio, Inter Milan: 56 Caps, 27 Goals
Ahh the Divine Ponytail - many fans favourite ever Italian Striker. Roberto, when in his prime, was just the definition of 90s football. Coming onto the scene in style in 1990, Baggio was the worlds most sought after striker come 94 and even in 2000, he just had to be considered. If in peak condition and in a good vain of form, Baggio may still make the cut.
Enrico Chiesa, Fiorentina: 22 Caps, 7 Goals
A mid 90s goalscoring machine, Enrico Chiesa was the man for a period. Boasting an impressive CV and goalscoring record for club and country - Chiesa, whilst not the biggest name in this list, would not disappoint if picked. Picked for Euro 96 and The World Cup in 1998, it would be a bold move to overlook him in 2000 as he was one of the most prolific strikers around.
So, pick five from that list and reminisce about the good old days of Italian Football.