Category Archives: Italy Under 21 Team

UEFA names Italy as hosts for the 2019 European Under-21 Championship

 
“After succeeding in the great challenging of hosting both Champions League finals in 2016, the FIGC, Italian sport and the systems in the country have two big international challenges ahead of them,” said CEO Michele Uva. “They are the 2020 European Championship matches in Rome and the finals of the 2019 European Under-21 Championship. We’ll therefore have a chance to show off our capabilities. We are trustworthy because knowhow has grown from our young human resources and above all because we have support from the most important public and private organisations. They are the councils and clubs but also Enit, Enac, Federalberghi, Aica and the Politecnico di Milano. Now, it’s time for the nice part as we show that we deserve to be a reference point in international football and that this can be a motor of growth for the country.”
 
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Under-21 European Championship draw to be made tomorrow in Krakow with Italy in Pot 3

The Italy National Under-21 Side will soon know who they will face in the group stage of the European Championship finals in Poland between 16th and 30th June. Tomorrow on 1st December, the draw will be made at the ICE Congress Centre in Krakow at 18:00 CEST. Italy are in Pot Three and will be represented at the draw by coach Luigi Di Biagio and the director for the national sides Giorgio Bottaro. The Azuzrrini will be drawn against one of Poland (hosts), Germany or Portugal (Pot One) and England, Spain or Denmark from Pot Two.  The third opponent will come from one of the other five sides in Pot Three (Sweden, Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia and FYR Macedonia). The three group winners and the best runner-up will progress to the semi-finals on 27th June. The final will be held on Krakow on 30th June. Italy hold the record in the European Under-21 Championship with five titles (1992, 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2004). The Azzurrini won their qualifying group ahead of Serbia with seven wins and three draws. Italy scored 17 and conceded just three.  Furthermore, UEFA published the all-time ‘Dream Team’ for the tournament ahead of the draw. Named in the ideal XI were the Italian legends Alessandro Nesta, Francesco Totti and Andrea Pirlo along with the current Azzurri defender Giorgio Chiellini. Germany has three representatives, Spain two, England one and Serbia one.  Pots
Host: Poland (To take Position One in Group A)
Pot 1: Germany, Portugal
Pot 2: England, Spain, Denmark
Pot 3: ITALY, Sweden, Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, FYR Macedonia Schedule for the fixtures in Poland 2017 
Group A: 16th, 19th and 22th June
Group B: 17th, 20th and 23rd June
Group C: 18th, 21st, 24th June
Semi-finals: 27th June
Final: 30th June

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Under-21s European Championship draw to take place on Thursday: Italy in pot three

The pots for the draw
Hosts: Poland (position 1 in Group A)
Pot 1: Germany, Portugal
Pot 2: England, Spain, Denmark
Pot 3: Italy, Sweden (holders), Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, FYR Macedonia
Match dates for the 2017 finals in Poland
Group A: 16, 19, 22 June
Group B: 17, 20, 23 June
Group C: 18, 21, 24 June
Semi-final 1 (Winner A v Runner-up B/C or Winner C): 27 June
Semi-final 2 (Winner B v Runner-up A or Winner C): 27 June
Final: 30 June
 
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A goal was the only thing missing for the Under-21s against Denmark

 
Ricci drew applause from the crowd after instigating two well-worked phases of play, whilst Pellegrini also grasped more of a foothold in the game as the minutes passed. The 25th minute saw Garritano test Hojbjerg with a strong right-footed strike. Denmark’s only real chance came from a long-range effort from Nielsen, whilst the Azzurrini were still unable to break the deadlock during the opening 30 minutes. Conti maintained his lively presence down the right flank, who subsequently passed to Garritano who then played in a through ball to Grassi, however the player’s subsequent shot was unable to exploit Hojbjerg. The Danish goalkeeper also produced a decisive save in the 46th minute to keep out Petagna. Italy’s fortunes did not change following the interval, as the Atalanta attacker fired a wayward effort over the crossbar.
 
The crowd tried to rouse the Azzurrini and Garritano and Ricci always posed a threat to the opposition. Their decent link-up play was made clear as Garritano delivered an accurate cross for the Sassuolo man, whose header just went narrowly past the post. Di Biagio soon sent on Mazzitelli and Cristante to replace Pellegrini and Garritano, as the Italians continued to push back their Danish counterparts, who were forced to kick the ball long and lacked creativity. The visitors’ only real chance came halfway through the second half when Junker’s shot was blocked by Ferrari. Parigini replaced Grassi 15 minutes from the end, whilst Berraca came on in place of Masina. Italy maintained their efforts to score well into the dying stages and their final chance came to Ferrari, although his shot was intercepted by an opposition defender not far from the goal-line.
 
“We gave it our all,” said Andrea Petagna “I am sorry not to have the scored the two chances that fell to me, but sometimes that happens and it is not a problem. We are a good group and I think that we can do well at the European Championship.”Having become a starter for Gasperini’s Atalanta side, Petagna has been recently compared to another strong striker who matured as a footballer in Bergamo: “It is too early to make comparisons with Vieri,” he added. “I must first score goals just like he did in his career.” He also possesses the humility that is needed to become great. 
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Di Francesco withdraws from training camp. Conti: “It will be a great feeling to represent Italy in Bergamo.”

 
Di Biagio will be without Federico Di Francesco for this fixture against the Danes, who they previously lost to 1-0 during a friendly in Matera two years ago. The player has been forced to withdraw from the training camp due to a muscular injury; picking up his knock shortly after he scored Italy’s second goal against England. Prior to this, Andrea Conti bagged an equaliser after some fine wing-play at the St Mary’s stadium, whilst he has also been enjoying a great start to the season with Atalanta: “I am certainly feeling positive ahead of the game against Denmark,” said the defender. “Thursday’s defeat still stings because we put in a decent performance. On a personal level, I am happy to have scored, although the entire team is still disappointed with how the game finished. We are now focused on Denmark, they are a great team and they did well in a very tough qualifying group. As always, we will play to win.”
 
Conti is just one of the four Atalanta players who now remain in the Under-21 squad, after Roberto Gagliardini was recently selected for the senior side. Interestingly, Monday will see the city of Bergamo host the Azzurrini for the first time in 30 years: “It will be an amazing experience and I can’t wait,” he added. “It will be a great source of pride for me as I appear in the stadium where I play my club football.”
 
Squad list
Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Benevento), Pierluigi Gollini (Aston Villa);
Defenders: Antonio Barreca (Torino), Davide Biraschi (Genoa), Mattia Caldara (Atalanta), Andrea Conti (Atalanta), Alex Ferrari (Bologna), Adam Masina (Bologna), Michele Somma (Brescia), Davide Vitturini (Pescara);
Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Leonardo Capezzi (Crotone), Bryan Cristante (Pescara), Alberto Grassi (Atalanta), Luca Mazzitelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Sassuolo);
Forwards: Alberto Cerri (Spal), Luca Garritano (Cesena), Vittorio Parigini (Chievo Verona), Andrea Petagna (Atalanta), Federico Ricci (Sassuolo), Valerio Lorenzo Rosseti (Lugano). Staff – Delegation Head: Giancarlo Antognoni; Accompanying Director: Vincenzo Marinelli; Head Coach: Luigi Di Biagio; Assitant Coach: Carmine Nunziata; Secretary: Emiliano Cozzi; Goalkeeping Coach: Antonio Chimenti; Fitness Coach: Vito Azzone; Doctors: Angelo De Carli and Luca Gatteschi; Phsyiotherapists: Enzo Paolini and Maurizio Fagorzi; Equipment Manager:Claudio Gagliardi.
 
Schedule (All times CET unless stated)
Sunday 13th November
13:00 Meeting with the press at the Hotel Winter Garden  (coach)
15:30 Training at the Bortolotti sports centre in Zingonia  (closed)
 
Monday 14th November
18:30 ITALY vs.  Denmark at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia – Bergamo. The players and staff will return to their usual bases after all media duties are over ]]>

Di Francesco rested as the Under-21 side trained for Denmark friendly

 
Squad List
Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Benevento), Pierluigi Gollini (Aston Villa),
Defenders: Antonio Barreca (Torino), Davide Biraschi (Genoa), Mattia Caldara (Atalanta), Andrea Conti (Atalanta), Alex Ferrari (Bologna), Adam Masina (Bologna), Michele Somma (Brescia), Davide Vitturini (Pescara);
Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Leonardo Capezzi (Crotone), Bryan Cristante (Pescara), Alberto Grassi (Atalanta), Luca Mazzitelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Sassuolo);
Forwards: Alberto Cerri (Spal), Federico Di Francesco (Bologna), Luca Garritano (Cesena), Vittorio Parigini (Chievo Verona), Andrea Petagna (Atalanta), Federico Ricci (Sassuolo), Valerio Lorenzo Rosseti (Lugano).
Staff – Delegation Head: Giancarlo Antognoni; Accompanying Director: Vincenzo Marinelli; Head Coach: Luigi Di Biagio; Assitant Coach: Carmine Nunziata; Secretary: Emiliano Cozzi; Goalkeeping Coach: Antonio Chimenti; Fitness Coach: Vito Azzone; Doctors: Angelo De Carli and Luca Gatteschi; Phsyiotherapists: Enzo Paolini and Maurizio Fagorzi; Equipment Manager: Claudio Gagliardi. Schedule (All times CET unless stated) Friday 11th November
10:00 Training at the Staplewood Centre (closed)
20:00 Flight from London to Milan Linate followed by transfer to the Hotel “Winter Garden” in Grassobbio (BG) Saturday 12th November
15:30 Training at the sports centre Azzano San Paolo (open to the public) Sunday 13th November
13:00 Meeting with the press at the Hotel Winter Garden  (coach)
15:30 Training at the Bortolotti sports centre in Zingonia  (closed) Monday 14th November
18:30 ITALY vs.  Denmark at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia – Bergamo. The players and staff will return to their usual bases after all media duties are over. ]]>

Under-21s lose thrilling friendly in Southampton

 
Following a minute of silence (with the players also wearing black armbands) observed in memory of victims from the First World War, the game soon began in startling fashion. England in particular enjoyed a positive start, as both a header and a cross came close to breaking the deadlock. However, this instant pressure soon paid dividends, as the hosts took an early lead in the sixth minute thanks to Demarai Gray, who capitalised on the Azzurrini’s slack defending and fired the ball into the back of the net.
 
This premature blow did startle the visitors, although they soon began to grasp a foothold in the game and levelled the scoring in the 13th minute. Their equalising goal came after some good work on the right-flank by Andrea Conti, whose cross then deflected fortunately off the leg of Galloway and looped its way into the back of the net. This resurgence did not stop there, as the buoyed Azzurrini then took the lead in the 29th minute, when a well-worked corner was dispatched by Di Francesco. The 21-year-old capitalised on a flick-on from Petagna and scored easily.  This completed Italy’s fightback as they took a 2-1 lead at the St Mary’s stadium. Unfortunately, he was soon forced to leave the field in the 43rd minute due to injury and was replaced by Parigini.
 
Following the interval, Di Biagio changed some players, although the U21s maintained a positive rhythm. This did not stop England pushing forward however, as they struck the woodwork twice, whilst Baker then scored to make it 2-2.
 
Despite the high tempo of the game, both teams continued to attack. The 11,000 spectators were served up an extremely entertaining encounter, as neither opted to sit back or relax simply due to the fixture’s friendly nature. Following the late arrival of debutant Capezzi, England’s physical superiority soon prevailed, as Stephens snatched the winning goal in injury time, helping his team secure a dramatic 3-2 win. Italy will now take part in another tough test against Denmark in Bergamo on Monday.
 
It was an underserved defeat for the Azzurrini, although Di Biagio did not complain: “The result leaves us with a slight sense of regret,” he admitted. “But these type of games are important for the players as it makes them realise what is needed to play at the highest level. I liked the team’s desire and determination, even if we should have been more ruthless in the final 30 metres. They have come out on top and perhaps shown that they have something more than us, but that’s okay. I have experimented with new players and I have tried some formations that could be useful in the future.”
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England encounter awaits promising Azzurrini side

 
In addition to the satisfaction of qualifying for the Final Phase of the European Championship, he also revealed his delight at the number of Azzurrini who have recently been selected by Gian Piero Ventura. The latest players to enter Coverciano were Danilo Cataldi and Roberto Gagliardini: “To see this many youth players in the senior team gives me a great sense of pride,” the coach added. “It is fair to say that up until a year ago not many of them were playing for their own clubs. Italian football can take optimism from the confidence that has been placed in younger players from lots of clubs.” Squad List
Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Benevento), Pierluigi Gollini (Aston Villa),
Defenders: Antonio Barreca (Torino), Davide Biraschi (Genoa), Mattia Caldara (Atalanta), Andrea Conti (Atalanta), Alex Ferrari (Bologna), Adam Masina (Bologna), Michele Somma (Brescia), Davide Vitturini (Pescara);
Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Leonardo Capezzi (Crotone), Bryan Cristante (Pescara), Alberto Grassi (Atalanta), Luca Mazzitelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Sassuolo);
Forwards: Alberto Cerri (Spal), Federico Di Francesco (Bologna), Luca Garritano (Cesena), Vittorio Parigini (Chievo Verona), Andrea Petagna (Atalanta), Federico Ricci (Sassuolo), Valerio Lorenzo Rosseti (Lugano).
Staff – Delegation Head: Giancarlo Antognoni; Accompanying Director: Vincenzo Marinelli; Head Coach: Luigi Di Biagio; Assitant Coach: Carmine Nunziata; Secretary: Emiliano Cozzi; Goalkeeping Coach: Antonio Chimenti; Fitness Coach: Vito Azzone; Doctors: Angelo De Carli and Luca Gatteschi; Phsyiotherapists: Enzo Paolini and Maurizio Fagorzi; Equipment Manager: Claudio Gagliardi. Schedule (All times CET unless stated) Wednesday 9th  November
13:00 Meeting with the press at the Hotel Hilton  (Coach)
15:30 Training at the Staplewood Centre (closed) Thursday 10th November
10:30 Training at the Staplewood Centre (closed)
19:45 (local time)  England vs. Italy at St. Mary’s Stadium – Southampton. Meeting with the press to follow, Friday 11th November
10:00 Training at the Staplewood Centre (closed)
20:00 Flight from London to Milan Linate followed by transfer to the Hotel “Winter Garden” in Grassobbio (BG) Saturday 12th November
15:30 Training at the sports centre Azzano San Paolo (open to the public) Sunday 13th November
13:00 Meeting with the press at the Hotel Winter Garden  (coach)
15:30 Training at the Bortolotti sports centre in Zingonia  (closed) Monday 14th November
18:30 ITALY vs.  Denmark at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia – Bergamo. The players and staff will return to their usual bases after all media duties are over. ]]>