Football

The Italian jab

1 Despite Italy debutant Eder (above) coming off the bench to save Azzurri's blushes with a late equaliser in a rain-lashed 2-2 draw with Bulgaria in Euro 2016 qualifier in Sofia on Saturday, fans were still unhappy with him.

Controversy has surrounded Brazil-born Sampdoria forward Eder and Argentinian-born Franco Vazquez, who plays for Palermo, since last week when they were called into Italy's national team for the first time.

Their call-ups sparked an age-old debate about the role of "Oriundi'' - players born outside Italy to families who originally emigrated from the country.

2 Italy coach Antonio Conte has received death threats believed to be from angry Juventus fans who blame his training methods for the injury that will probably rule midfielder Claudio Marchisio (above) out for the rest of the season.

Marchisio suffered ruptured knee ligaments during the warm-up for Friday's training session ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier against Bulgaria on Saturday and returned to the Serie A leaders for treatment.

Conte was also attacked by John Elkann, the head of the holding company which controls FIAT and Juventus, who said the Italy coach worked the players too hard during the national team's training camps.