World Cup 2014: Player profile - who is Riccardo Montolivo, the Italy midfielder?

Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer

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The Independent Football

The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past, but who will be the star of the show?

With 93 days to go until things kick-off, check out our latest instalment of 100 players to look out for at the competition below.

93. Riccardo Montolivo (Italy)

Montolivo is another Italian who’s never transferred out of his home country. He played for Atalanta and Fiorentina before moving to Italian giants Milan in the summer of 2012. He’s a versatile midfielder capable of fulfilling any position in the middle, but is most comfortable as a playmaker or when he is deployed as support to the attack higher up the pitch.

With Milan languishing in the middle echelons of Serie A, Montolivo will be aiming to improve his club’s domestic fortunes to stake his claim for a ticket to Brazil. He’s made 20 appearances so far, scoring two and assisting four – figures that won’t be causing the likes of Steven Gerrard to panic, just yet anyway.

He made his debut for the national side in 2007, but failed to make the 23-man team for Euro 2008 despite the then Italy manager Roberto Donadoni stating he had a big future at international level. He wasn’t wrong. Montolivo has now made 57 appearances for Italy, including two major tournament appearances in South Africa’s 2010 World Cup as well as the European Championships that followed.

He helped the Azzurri progress to the final in Kiev two years ago, featuring for nearly an hour in their humbling 4-0 defeat at the hands of Spain before being replaced by Thiago Motta.

Did you know? Montolivo speaks fluent German

Watch Montolivo in action against England at Euro 2012