Italy coach Marcello Lippi has hit out at Inter Milan's squad.
"Inter are a great squad, but they cannot be taken as an example of Italian football because they are all foreign," said the 2006 World Cup winner. "There wasn't a single Italian in the side that beat Chelsea. Italian football is made from Italian players and Italian tacticians.
"People keep judging Italian football based on what happens in the Champions League, but that's not all that Italian football is."
Lippi has called many players from the smaller clubs and maintains they are the 'heartland' of calcio.
"Italian football is not only Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina, but also Cagliari, Napoli, Genoa, Udinese, Palermo, Sampdoria and the Nazionale. Before declaring that calcio is in crisis, perhaps we should say instead that only Inter have delivered among the big teams on an international stage.
"We can also say that Fiorentina did not deserve to be knocked out by Bayern Munich, who are a great side. They went out after two wonderful performances for reasons that have nothing to do with their football. We can say that Milan had a great first leg with Manchester United and could've received a very different result had they taken their chances.
"Before burying Italian football, I think we should think very carefully."