Nazionale U21

A fantastic few months for Kayode

The Fiorentina wing-back, who scored the winner in the European Under-19 Championship final, was interviewed by Rai

Saturday, October 14, 2023

A fantastic few months for Kayode

In the past few months, Michael Olabode Kayode has scored the winning goal in the European Under-19 Championship final, made his Serie A debut and been called up to the U21s. Born in Borgomanero to Nigerian parents, the 19-year-old has been at Fiorentina since 2021 and is now very much part of Carmine Nunziata’s plans for the new two-year cycle, which began with four points in two matches against Latvia and Turkey and will continue against Norway at the Stadio Druso in Bolzano at 17:45 CEST on Tuesday. “We hope that things go really well,” said Kayode, who has made five appearances in Serie A this season (three starts, including against the current Italian champions, Napoli, last time out). “Norway are a strong side, but we’re preparing in the best way possible. I’m confident.”

Confidence is very much a trait of his right now. In July, his header won the U19 Euros for Italy, who previously hadn’t lifted the trophy since 2003 (Michael had not yet been born). Then, Vincenzo Italiano decided to involve him in the first-team setup at Fiorentina after his experience with the Viola’s U19s. “Italiano is a fantastic coach,” said Michael in an exclusive interview with Rai. “He knows how to provide the necessary input so that we can approach matches in the best way possible. I’ve always got along well with him, and I’d like to thank him for giving me the opportunity to display my qualities.”

Il gol nella finale dell'Europeo U19

Out on the pitch, experienced players like Jack Bonaventura, who has returned to the senior Italy fold, have lent him a helping hand: “Jack is great both on and away from the field. He’s been called up again and I’m delighted for him.” There are many players Michael draws inspiration from: “There’s Cafu and Di Lorenzo, who I played against on Sunday, as well as Walker. Obviously, they’re all right wing-backs, like I am.” When he was 16, Kayode found himself playing for Gozzano in Serie D. In helping the team win the league, he caught the attention of Fiorentina, who brought him to a city where he’s “loved by everyone.” From the Viola to the blue of Italy, the “dream is to play for the senior National Team.”

Squad list

Goalkeepers: Sebastiano Desplanches (Palermo), Filippo Rinaldi (Olbia), Gioele Zacchi (Giana Erminio)
Defenders: Riccardo Calafiori (Bologna), Diego Coppola (Verona), Daniele Ghilardi (Sampdoria), Gabriele Guarino (Empoli), Michael Olabode Kayode (Fiorentina), Lorenzo Pirola (Salernitana), Matteo Ruggeri (Atalanta), Riccardo Turicchia (Juventus), Mattia Zanotti (St. Gallen)
Midfielders: Tommaso Baldanzi (Empoli), Alessandro Bianco (Reggiana), Edoardo Bove (Roma), Cesare Casadei (Leicester), Giovanni Fabbian (Bologna), Samuel Giovane (Ascoli), Fabio Miretti (Juventus), Cher Ndour (Paris Saint-Germain), Matteo Prati (Cagliari)
Forwards: Giuseppe Ambrosino (Catanzaro), Francesco Pio Esposito (Spezia), Sebastiano Esposito (Sampdoria), Gaetano Pio Oristanio (Cagliari)


Friday 13 October

14:00 Latvia 1-2 Republic of Ireland 
18:45: Turkey 5-0 San Marino

Tuesday 17 October

14:00 Latvia vs. Turkey
17:45: ITALY vs. Norway (Bolzano)

Standings (number of games played in brackets):  Republic of Ireland (3) 9, Norway (2) 6, Italy (2) and Latvia (4) 4, Turkey (3) 3, San Marino (4) 0


Tuesday 17 October (17:45):
 Italy vs. Norway (Bolzano)
Thursday 16 November: San Marino vs. Italy
Tuesday 21 November: Republic of Ireland vs. Italy
Friday 22 March 2024: Italy vs. Latvia
Tuesday 26 March 2024: Italy vs. Turkey
Thursday 5 September 2024: Italy vs. San Marino
Tuesday 10 September 2024: Norway vs. Italy
Tuesday 15 October 2024: Italy vs. Republic of Ireland