Nazionale U21

Azzurrini in Bolzano ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Norway

The home debut (live on Rai 2 at 17:45 CEST) in the 2025 European Championships at the Stadio Druso awaits the Azzurrini. The coach: “We want to go on the pitch to win and to entertain the crowd.” All sold out. 5,500 tickets sold

Monday, October 16, 2023

Azzurrini in Bolzano ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Norway

After a week of work, it’s finally time for the Under 21 National Team to take to the pitch. The Azzurrini arrived in Merano for the training camp yesterday and face Norway on Tuesday at 17:45 at the Stadio Druso in Bolzano (live on Rai 2) in a key match for qualification to the 2025 European Championships. Italy started with a draw in Latvia and a victory in Turkey; the Norwegians, however, have a perfect record, with six points and 14 goals scored (without conceding) in their opening two matches. “They are more technical and less physical than a normal Norway team,” explained coach, Carmine Nunziata. “It will be a difficult match because we’re talking about a strong team from the midfield upwards: in the back, however, they have some difficulties. It will be a tough match, to be played to the best of our ability: we will need intensity, especially against such quality players but the most important thing is to play our game and our football.” 

Norway knocked Italy out in the last U21 European Championships, “but the past is the past” said Nunziata. “We are only looking to win this match, it’s important for our qualification. I know that there will be lots of fans there to support us in Bolzano: we want to go on the pitch to win and to entertain the crowd.” Some 5500 fans are expected (sold out) at the Druso, following a week in which the U21s have had the luxury of only preparing for this match, and not a second: “We have had the chance to work a lot and well: on our game, which is what is needed to reach the goal, and also on the intensity, which is needed to play internationally. I would like us all to become a team, and to believe that we can achieve this goal.” 

Marco Nasti will not be present, excluded for disciplinary reasons: “It was not a nice incident,” said the coach. “It was a crazy gesture: Nasti could not stay in the group. But I would like to find one positive from this affair: I want to emphasise Ruggeri’s commitment to staying with the team despite his fractured septum. I hope this was a message to all the others. Nasti has not shown this kind of madness before; the main thing is that he realises the gravity of the situation and only then can we see if it is appropriate to let him rejoin. I spoke to him immediately after the incident and he was sorry. He phoned me in the last few days; he’s not like that normally, I don’t know what came over him but I hope he learns from this.” 


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