U21 European Qualifiers – Di Biagio: “Serbia are a good team but we can definitely match them”

It's wise to recognise the quality of your opponents but in each game, Italy have become more and more confident in their own ability. “We've been looking at Serbia during the last few days in order to take advantage of their weaknesses.” explained the head coach, “they won last year's U20 World Cup but we can definitely match them. Serbia has a really good football and general sports academy and it's right to show them respect but we have to play our game without worrying too much about them. We've been good so far, I'm very pleased with our results although we still have to improve our overall performance and our finishing. These lads value attitude, sacrifice and will to win and that will make the difference.”.
One of the first timers in the squad, Adam Masina, could make his debut in Serbia after he stood out for Bologna in the early weeks of the season. “If I look back,” he said at the press conference, “I realise how much my life has changed in the last two years.” Once an attacker, now a wingback, Masina has quickly developed to get to the stage when he can pull on the Italy jersey. “My story always makes me smile, the change of position was the turning point in my career and in my life thanks to the lessons I learned from my parents. I'm fully committed to Italy, I feel Italian right down to the bones and I dream of lifting that trophy just like Cannavaro. I've found a close-knit group here who immediately made me feel comfortable. Tomorrow we'll give everything against Serbia knowing that 3 huge points are at stake in terms of the group table.”. Squadlist Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Simone Scuffet (Como); Defenders: Antonio Barreca (Cagliari), Davide Calabria (AC Milan), Mattia Caldara (Cesena), Andrea Conti (Atalanta), Cristian Dell’Orco (Novara), Alex Ferrari (Bologna), Adam Masina (Bologna), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan), Daniele Rugani (Juventus); Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Danilo Cataldi (Lazio), Nicolò Fazzi (Virtus Entella), Alberto Grassi (Atalanta), Rolando Mandragora (Pescara), Valerio Verre (Pescara); Forwards: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Kingsley Boateng (Bari), Alberto Cerri (Cagliari), Luca Garritano (Cesena), Gaetano Monachello (Atalanta), Alessandro Piu (Empoli). Staff:
Head of Delegation:
Giancarlo Antognoni;
Accompanying Director: Vincenzo Marinelli;
Vice Coordinator of Youth Football: Maurizio Viscidi;
Head Coach: Luigi Di Biagio;
Assistant Coach: Carmine Nunziata;
Secretary: Emiliano Cozzi;
Goalkeeping Coach: Antonio Chimenti;
Fitness Coach: Vito Azzone;
Medical Staff: Angelo De Carli and Carmine Costabile;
Masseurs: Enzo Paolini and Guido Mauro Ferrini;
Kitmen: Claudio Gagliardi and Andrea Russo. Schedule Thursday 12th November
13:15 press meeting in hotel (coach)
17:00 training at the Stadion Karadjordje in Novi Sad (first 15 minutes open to the press) Friday 13th November
18:30 Match SERBIA U21s – ITALY U21s at the Stadion Karadjordje in Novi Sad                    
Post match press meeting and transfer to Belgrade airport.
Circa 23:30 Charter AZ flight Belgrade/Pescara and transfer to the Sporting Villa Maria Hotel, Francavilla al Mare (CH)
Saturday 14th November
15:30  closed training at the Stadio Adriatico, Pescara Sunday 15th November
10:00 team transfer to the Sport Village Hotel in Castel di Sangro (AQ)
13:00 press meeting in the hotel
16.00 training at the Stadio T. Patini in Castel di Sangro (open to the public) Monday 16th November
09:45 meeting between the FIGC delegation and students from the Istituto di
Istruzione Superiore “Patini Liberatore” in Castel di Sangro
14:00 Manager's press conference at the Stadio T. Patini in Castel di Sangro
15:00 training at the Stadio T. Patini in Castel di Sangro (first 15 minutes open to the press)
Tuesday 17th November
17.00 match ITALY U21s – LITHUANIA U21s at the Stadio T. Patini in Castel di Sangro                          
Post match press meeting, squad disbands and players and staff return home. ]]>