Italy Head Coach Roberto Mancini called up 26 players to travel to Armenia and Finland for Euro Qualifiers

By Anna Italia
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Italy Head Coach Roberto Mancini called up 26 players for the EURO 2020 Qualifiers for the fifth and sixth matchdays of the ‘European Qualifiers’.  T he team will meet on Monday 2 September 2019 in Bologna and will arrive in Yerevan on 4 September. The Italian team will play the second game in Finland on 8 September in Tampere.

Italy is leading Group J with 12 points and a positive goal difference of +12 followed by Finland with 9 points in the second position.   Italy face Armenia on Thursday 5 September, 18:00 CEST  at the ‘Vazgen Sargysan’ Stadium in Yerevan  and Finland on Sunday 8 September, 20:45 CEST – at the ‘Tampere Stadion’ in Tampere.

European Qualifiers Group J Standing after Matchday 4


As reported by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC),  the team will meet on Monday 2 September at the ‘Niccolò Galli’ Training Centre in Bologna (Casteldebole).   Coach Roberto Mancini will have  a press conference  in the afternoon followed by the team’s first training session. The National team will then leave for Yerevan on Wednesday 4 September before moving on to Tampere the day after the match against Armenia.


For Italy, who lead Group J in the European qualifiers after the first 4 matchdays, their path thus far has been an impressive one: four consecutive victories (a 5th would be a record in the history of the Azzurri at the European Championships), which becomes eight if you include the last four qualification matches for EURO 2016. The National Team have not lost at home for 20 years in this particular stage of the competition (9 September 1999 in Naples, Italy 2-3 Denmark), and boast a 13-year unbeaten streak away from home (6 September 2006 in Paris, France 3-1 Italy). Since that defeat at the ‘Stade de France’, the Azzurri have played 34 games in European qualification, with 28 wins, the last eight all coming in a row, and six draws.

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ARMENIA VS. ITALY. Italy have faced Armenia twice in the past and both came in the 2014 World Cup qualifying round: one victory and one draw for the Azzurri; a 3-1 win in Yerevan and 2-2 in Napoli. Mkhitaryan and Osvaldo scored in both matches. Three players from the current squad played, Bonucci in both games and then Florenzi and Insigne only in the second. In Yerevan, the day after the match, the National Team will meet with a delegation of youngsters with disabilities, who benefit from financial support thanks to the collaboration of the FIGC with the Embassy of Italy in Armenia, Caritas and PAM/WFP.

FINLAND VS. ITALY. This fixture has taken place 14 times in the past and it is the Azzurri who hold a clear advantage: twelve victories, one draw and one defeat, the last of which came in the only match held at a neutral venue, in Stockholm during the 1912 Olympic Games. Since then have come twelve positive results and seven consecutive wins for the Azzurri. Italy haven’t conceded against the Finns for six games and have never conceded against this opponent in European qualifying matches. Five victories in five matches for Italy in Finland, the last of which came in 2003 in a qualifying match for the 2004 European Championships, the goals scored by Totti and Del Piero.

The National Team will return to action in Italy on 12 October, with a match against Greece scheduled to take place at the ‘Stadio Olimpico’ in Rome. The day before the match the Azzurri will visit the Children’s Hospital ‘Bambino Gesù’, meeting patients and their families; children able to leave the hospital will also be invited to attend the match, together with a representative of the hospital staff. In order to raise funds for this, the FIGC will set up an online auction with shirts signed by the Azzurri along with the donation of a VIP experience with the chance to walk out onto the pitch. The proceeds shall be supplemented by a contribution from the FIGC as part of the partnership between the FIGC and the OPBG for the last 150 years, which also saw a project last June in Coverciano bring young patients to spend a day at the National Training Centre with the chance to meet the Azzurri.

Called up players for the Italian National Team:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Pierluigi Gollini (Atalanta), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino);

Defenders: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Armando Izzo (Torino), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Luca Pellegrini (Cagliari), Alessio Romagnoli (Milan);

Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Frello Filho Jorge Luiz Jorginho (Chelsea), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Stefano Sensi (Inter), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain);

Attackers: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Shangai Shenhua), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Kevin Lasagna (Udinese).

Staff – Head Coach: Roberto Mancini; Team Manager: Gabriele Oriali; Technical assistants: Alberico Evani, Attilio Lombardo, Giulio Nuciari, Fausto Salsano; Athletic coaches: Claudio Donatelli and Andrea Scanavino; Goalkeeping coach: Massimo Battara; Match Analyst: Antonio Gagliardi and Simone Contran; Doctors: Andrea Ferretti (medical area manager) and Carmine Costabile; Physiotherapists: Maurizio Fagorzi, Emanuele Randelli, Fabrizio Scalzi, Luca Lascialfari, Fabio Sannino; Osteopath: Walter Martinelli; Nutritionist: Matteo Pincella; Secretary: Emiliano Cozzi; Head of Press Office: Paolo Corbi.

The National Team’s schedule*

Monday 2 September
Meet in Bologna by midday
17:30 CEST – Press Conference with the Head Coach at the Isokinetic Medical Centre in Bologna (Casteldebole)
18:00 CEST – Training at the Niccolò Galli Training Centre (Casteldebole, open to the media)

Tuesday 3 September
17:30 CEST – Press conference with the players at the Isokinetic Medical Centre in Bologna
18:00 CEST – Training at the Niccolò Galli Training Centre (Casteldebole, behind closed doors)

Wednesday 4 September
10:00 CEST – Flight departs from Bologna to Yerevan

All times below are in local time (+2 in relation to CEST)

18:30 (16:30 CEST) – Press conference with the Coach and one player at the Republican Stadium
19:00 (17:00 CEST) – MD-1 Training at the Republican Stadium (open to the media for the first 15 minutes)

Thursday 5 September
20:00 (18:00 CEST) – Armenia vs. Italy at the Republican Stadium. Meeting with the media after the game and then return to team hotel

Friday 6 September
10:30 (8:30 CEST) – Training at the FFA Academy Training Centre (behind closed doors)
16:40 (14:40 CEST) – Flight departs from Yerevan to Tampere

All times below are in local time (+1 in relation to CET)

Saturday 7 September
17:30 (16:30 CEST) – Press conference with the Coach and one player at the Tampere Stadium
18:00 (17:00 CEST) – MD-1 Training at the Tampere Stadium (open to the media for the first 15 minutes)

Sunday 8 September
21:45 (20:45 CEST) – Finland vs. Italy at the Tampere Stadium. Meeting with the media after the game and then airport transfer
01:15 (00:15 CEST) – Flight departs from Tampere to Malpensa/Rome

*Training and press times in Bologna may be subject to change