EURO 2020 draw: tournament to kick off with Turkey vs. Italy, Switzerland and Wales also in the Azzurri's groupMancini: “We need to compete in all matches.” President Gravina: “A very balanced group”
Saturday, November 30, 2019
Turkey, Switzerland and Wales – in the order the Azzurri will play them – will be Italy’s opponents during the group stage of UEFA EURO 2020, which will take place from 12 June to 12 July next summer and be staged in twelve European cities in twelve countries across the continent for the first time. This was the outcome of the draw which took place this evening at the ROMEXPO in Bucharest, where the FIGC’s delegation consisted of President Gabriele Gravina, General Secretary Marco Brunelli and National Team Head Coach Roberto Mancini.
“Could it have gone worse? It depends on your point of view,” said Mancini after Italy’s opponents next summer had been revealed. “I believe that you need to compete in all games. However, it would have been very difficult had we been drawn alongside France and Portugal. But Switzerland are an excellent side, Wales could be a surprise package, while Turkey have many good young players and beat France in qualifying.
“France could have come out of the hat and that wouldn’t have been too bad: being one of two fairly strong sides in a group can have its advantages, whereas in a more balanced group you need to fight until the very end,” the Head Coach continued.” Mancini then analysed the Azzurri’s qualifying campaign, during which Italy won ten in as many games. “We know that we need to try to improve: we’ve been excellent up to now, but the road is long. We need to keep what we’ve done in mind, but we also need to forget the qualifying phase because it no longer counts. You set out to win and I believe that Italy have a duty to always set out to win, even when we’re perhaps not favourites. We know that we have good players who are improving game after game, a good group has been created. There’s a bond between them, not just out on the pitch: they’re all feeling good and are happy. Nobody wants to be left out, and I believe that this is a fantastic and important aspect. This needs to be our spirit.”
Finally, the Head Coach talked about the strength of the team: “Which side wouldn’t we start as favourites against? I don’t think any! Certainly, there are some sides who are more well-equipped and ready than us because they began their journey before we did. But I believe that France and Portugal also wouldn’t have been happy to meet Italy…”
FIGC President Gravina had the following to say: “The high esteem that Italy are being held in at this draw is the result of the work we’ve done until now, work which Italians should be proud of. We need to continue on this path. I’m happy, it’s a good draw but, I repeat, a very balanced group. The games need to be played until the very end and we have a duty to prepare in the best possible way. We’re asking Mancini to continue on this path, he’s doing extraordinary work and has generated incredible enthusiasm. The cherry on the cake is now missing. I like it when the Head Coach is optimistic, we’ll do all that we can to create the requirements needed to achieve something big. But victory needs to be achieved and a bit of luck is also needed.”
TOTTI Along with big names like Iker Casillas (Spain), Philip Lahm (Germany), Marcel Desailly (France) and Ruud Gullit (the Netherlands), Francesco Totti was one of the eleven legends selected by UEFA to take part in the draw. The former Roma captain will be a Rome EURO 2020 ambassador after being nominated by the FIGC. Meanwhile, Gianluca Vialli will be Italy’s Volunteers ambassador.
PATH AHEAD Italy, who have been inserted in Group A, will play all three of their group games at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The Azzurri will play the first match of the tournament against Turkey at 21:00 on Friday 12 June before facing Switzerland on Wednesday 17 June and Wales on Sunday 21 June.
Italy’s preparations for UEFA EURO 2020 will begin at the end of May upon Serie A coming to an end (24 May). The Azzurri will train at Coverciano before arriving in Rome a day before the match. Ahead of the European Championship, the National Team will play two friendlies in March, while there will also be further tests at the end of May/the beginning of June with the team in training camp. Details will be released at a later date.
PREVIOUS MEETINGS In ten meetings with Turkey, the National Team have never lost: seven wins and three draws is their record so far. The last match played between the sides was a friendly in 2006, when it finished 1-1 in Bergamo. Italy have come up against Switzerland 58 times, winning 28, drawing 22 and suffering eight defeats. The Azzurri’s last encounter with the Swiss was a 1-1 friendly draw in Geneva in 2010. Against Wales, Italy’s record reads as follows: nine games, seven wins and two defeats. The last meeting between the sides came during the UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying campaign, with Italy emerging with a 4-0 victory in September 2003 at the Meazza.
- Group A (host cities: Rome, Baku): Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales
- Group B (Saint Petersburg, Copenhagen): Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland
- Group C (Amsterdam, Bucharest): Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, Winner of Path D
- Group D (London, Glasgow): England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Winner of Path C
- Group E (Bilbao, Dublin): Spain, Poland, Sweden, Winner of Path B
- Group F (Munich, Budapest): Germany, France, Portugal, Winner of Path A