First and foremost, I prefer English football. However, there is something about the big names in the Italian leagues and the whole culture around football in that country for me personally. I grew up idolising Roberto Baggio and watching the Italian national team in 1990 and 1994 and found it intriguing, I guess because it was so different to what I knew from English football and I probably found it exotic etc. Also, I remember Football Italia was always on Channel 4 when I was a kid, and I used to love watching all of these amazing stars and teams in Italy, again so different in terms of tempo and tactics to what I was used to. Then there was books like the one on Hellas Verona by Tim Parks, and the book on the miracle of Castel di Sangro, which caught my imagination. I've also visited Italy several times and just found the whole culture around football really interesting. I guess it's a case of romanticising something that I don't really know that well but have glimpsed and probably filled in some of the details myself!
I always get more of a kick out of FM when involved in what I know in real life. I don't know German football very well at all. I've never watched it in depth in the same way as I have Italian football. Same with Spanish football. Thus, I don't find them as interesting. That said, I remember managing in Germany on FM08 during a career save I had running and enjoying my time there a great deal.
At the moment, a few factors are making me desire a return to Italy. First of all, I loaded up an old save in Italy on CM03/04 on a bit of a nostalgia trip the other day and remembered how much I had enjoyed it. Secondly, I'm keen to try something very Italian-style in terms of my tactics, probably involving a 4-3-1-2/diamond midfield. Finally, I've been dipping in and out of John Foot's Calcio, so my imagination is fired up by Italian football right now. I should add to this that SnakeXe's career with Messina has me keen to try a similar adventure!
I'm also a little miserable with English football right now and my Saints save is feeling a little sad for me to play at the moment. It's been a miserable season for me as a fan and so I think I desire an escape to somewhere different to forget and to enjoy something different for a change.