By Anna Italia
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Italy Head Coach Roberto Macini has called up 28 players for the new UEFA Nations League. On 10 October, Ukraine will be the opposition at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Genoa for a 20:45 CEST kick-off before the UEFA Nations League match against Poland in Chorzow at the Silesian Stadium at 20:45 CEST. The team will then head to the Quirinal Palace where both the male and female teams will be received by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella in celebration of the FIGC’s 120th anniversary.
Among the news, Gianluca Caprari has been called up for the first time while Alessandro Florenzi and Danilo D’Ambrosio are back after missing out in September. Marco Verratti and Patrick Cutrone are back after last appearing in March for the two matches played in England. Francesco Acerbi is back (last called up in March 2016) and forward Sebastian Giovinco is back after three years when he was last in the squad for the Norway match in Rome in October 2015.
As reported by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the National Team will gather at Coverciano on Sunday 7th October. The next day, the Azzurri will train for the first time in the afternoon before heading to Genoa on Tuesday a day ahead of the Ukraine match. The side will then return to Coverciano after the match before heading to Chorzow on Saturday 13th October for the third UEFA Nations League fixture against the home side Poland.
- THE UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE – The new UEFA competitions features four categories, going from A to D. Italy are in League A which features the top 12 teams in the UEFA Ranking divided into four groups of three. Following the opening matches against Poland and Portugal, Italy will face Poland away on 14 October before the home match against Portugal on 17 November. While not involved in the tournament, Italy will play Ukraine in Genoa on Wednesday 10th October at 20:45 CEST and the United States of America on Tuesday 20th November at a venue to be confirmed.
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Italy Squad List for the UEFA Nations League games
Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Mattia Perin (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino);
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter), Emerson Palmieri Dos Santos (Chelsea), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Alessio Romagnoli (Milan);
Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Cagliari), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Frello Filho Jorge Luiz Jorginho (Chelsea), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain);
Forwards: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Gianluca Caprari (Sampdoria), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Patrick Cutrone (Milan), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Simone Zaza (Torino).
Staff – Head Coach: Roberto Mancini; Team Manager: Gabriele Oriali; Assistant Coaches: Alberico Evani, Angelo Adamo Gregucci, Giulio Nuciari, Fausto Salsano, Massimo Battara; Fitness Coaches: Claudio Donatelli and Andrea Scanavino; Match Analyst: Antonio Gagliardi; Doctors: Andrea Ferretti and Carmine Costabile; Physiotherapists: Maurizio Fagorzi, Emanuele Randelli, Fabrizio Scalzi, Luca Lascialfari; Osteopath: Walter Marinelli; Nutritionist Matteo Pincella.
ITALY vs. UKRAINE . The friendly against Ukraine marks the Azzurri’s return to Genoa after four years away. The last match there was a 1-0 win against Albania on 18 November 2014. For the match, the FIGC, Council of Genoa and Region of Liguria have organised a series of events to commemorate the victims of the Morandi bridge collapse on 14 August and to offer a message of support for the families and the people of Genoa, especially those who are living in difficult conditions after being forced to leave their homes.
Previous meetings. Italy have played 27 times in Genoa with a record of 16 wins, 8 draws and 3 defeats. Italy and Ukraine have played one another seven times with two matches in Italy, three in Ukraine and two on neutral ground. The Azzurri have won six and drawn one. The last meeting was on 29 March 2011 and it finished 0-2 in Kiev. There have been two matches in Italy with the Azzurri winning in Bari in 1995 and Rome in 2006.
Mancini and Genoa. It will be Roberto Mancini’s first match in the role in Genoa where he was a star with Sampdoria for 15 seasons from 18 August 1982 (Triestina vs. Sampdoria, Coppa Italia) and 1 June 1997 (Sampdoria vs. Fiorentina). He made 568 appearances with 424 in the league (plus a UEFA playoff), 99 in the Coppa Italia, three in the Supercoppa Italiana, 41 in European competition (30 UEFA Cup, 9 European Cup, two European Supercup) and he won seven trophies. They were: the 1990-91 Scudetto, the 1989/90 Cup Winners Cup, the 1991 Supercoppa Italiana and he won the Coppa Italia four times (1985, 1988, 1989 and 1994).
As part of the ‘Genova Città Azzurra’ project, a match between the two fan clubs has been organised for 10 October at Genoa SportCity La Sciorba. The city will also host the Museo del Calcio di Firenze’s travelling exhibition at the Palazzo Tursi from 27 November to 1 December which is dedicated to 120 years of the FIGC. The exhibition shows the trophies won by Italy along with interesting pieces of memorabilia from the team’s historic figures. It goes through the history of the 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 World Cup wins, the 1968 European Championship and historic shirts from the likes of Giovanni Ferrari (1934), Giacinto Facchetti (1968) and Paolo Rossi (1982) are on display.
POLAND vs. ITALY. There have been 15 matches between Italy and Poland, the most recent meeting was the 1-1 Nations League draw in Bologna. The Azzurri have won five, drawn seven and lost three. It will be Italy’s third appearance in Chorzow where they have drawn 1 and lost one in 1985 and 1997. More generally in Poland, Italy have won one, drawn three and lost two.
Italy Team Schedule (All times CEST)
Sunday 7 October
Gather by 24:00 at Coverciano
Monday 8 October (Azzurri Partner Day)
13:45 – Head Coach press conference
17:00 – Training (open to media and partners)
Tuesday 9 October
10:30 – Training (First 15 minutes open to media)
16:25 – Florence to Genoa flight
17:15 – Arrive in Genoa and transfer to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris
18:00 – Walk around
18:15 – Press conference with Head Coach and one player
Wednesday 10 October
20:45 – Italy vs. Ukraine
Meetings with press and transfer to Coverciano to follow
Thursday 11 October
16:00 – Training (closed)
Friday 12 October
10:30 – Training (closed)
13:45 – Meeting with the media
17:00 – Training (First 15 minutes open to the media)
Saturday 13 October
10:45 – Florence to Katowice flight
17:30 – Press conference with Head Coach and one player at the Silesian Stadium (Slaski) in Chorzow
18:00 – Training (First 15 minutes open to the press)
Sunday 14 October
20:45 – Poland vs. Italy, UEFA Nations League
Meetings with press and transfer to Rome to follow
Monday 15 October
16:30 – Meeting with the President of the Republic