Nazionale U21

Back in action at the Maurice Ravello Tournament against Panama

Monday at 18:15 CEST in Aubagne (live on Rai 2), the Azzurrini will face Panama with the aim of closing down second in the group rankings and moving on from the 0-4 defeat on Thursday

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Back in action at the Maurice Ravello Tournament against Panama

With the 0-4 defeat to Ukraine behind them, the Under-21 National Team will be back in action at the Maurice Revello Tournament on Monday at 18:15 CEST (live on Rai 2) in Aubagne to face Panama. The three points up for grabs would guarantee at least a second-placed finish in Group B (Ukraine currently sit top having won every game), but more than anything, this is a chance to put the negative result from Thursday behind them. Carmine Nunziata said: “Conceding 4 goals does not help us have a positive record, but there are anyway positives, especially with some players who have shown that they can come into this group, this is something important. However, we need to do more: we have worked hard in the last four days to become more of a team. We made many tactical mistakes against Ukraine, but that’s normal. Because it’s not easy to put things into practice when you’re building a squad”.

Technical, but also physical, difficulties led Italy to a heavy defeat. "Now we are facing opponents like Ukraine who are in better condition, who are preparing for an important event (the Olympics), whilst we have had lads join us who only finished their season 15 or 20 days ago and have understandably had to disconnect. But we are Italy, we are the Under-21s and in any case, we must try our best to make up for the performance against Ukraine. Nobody likes losing in this way: the lads are aware and have worked hard. We’re still aiming to go as far as possible in this tournament." Nunziata, who has announced some changes in the squad "because we want to return players to healthy clubs", then spoke on the next opponent: "Panama is a side with great intensity, they come right at you. I expect it to be a difficult game, but I'm also expecting to see a better squad on the pitch, one that has more intensity, in short, one that is more of a team”.

On the retreat in France, Nunziata was able to watch the Under-17 European Championships win. Nunziata commented: "I want to congratulate Favo, the team, the Federation, and Maurizio Viscidi, for this great achievement. Victory is a beautiful thing but so is the way it was won, by playing excellent football. The lads deserved it for what they did on the pitch, this is fundamental for youth football. Up until last year, we had always done well, but we had lacked a title. First, we did it with the U19s and now with the U17s: two wins that repay all the years of playing a certain kind of football”.

Analyses of the growth of the Italian youth are back in the news: "I have always thought that our youth are more mature by a year or two compared to those who play abroad, it’s hard to get those two years back. The important thing is that they play: it’s an education in Serie C, it’s an education in Serie B, it’s an education going abroad. The sooner they go to play with the big boys, where they play another kind of football, the sooner they improve. The important thing is to play, and not waste these years." 

Squad list

 Jacopo Sassi (Pro Vercelli), Filippo Rinaldi (Olbia), Gioele Zacchi (Giana Erminio);
Defenders: Nicolò Bertola (Spezia), Giovanni Bonfanti (Atalanta), Christian Dalle Mura (Ternana), Alessandro Fontanarosa (Cosenza), Daniele Ghilardi (Sampdoria), Edoardo Pieragnolo (Reggiana), Riccardo Turicchia (Juventus), Davide Veroli (Catanzaro), Mattia Zanotti (St. Gallen);
Midfielders: Alessandro Bianco (Reggiana), Giovanni Fabbian (Bologna), Giacomo Faticanti (Ternana), Luis Hasa (Juventus), Cher Ndour (Braga), Niccolò Pisilli (Roma), Franco Tongya (AEK Larnaca), Cristian Volpato (Sassuolo), Federico Zuccon (Cosenza);
Forwards: Leonardo Cerri (Juventus), Sebastiano Esposito (Sampdoria), Seydou Fini (Standard Liège), Rachid Kouda (Spezia), Antonio Raimondo (Ternana)

Group A:
 Saudi Arabia, Ivory Coast, France, Mexico, South Korea
Group B: Ukraine, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Panama

Matchday 1 - Tuesday 4 June (Vitrolles)
ITALY 4-3 Japan
Indonesia 0-3 Ukraine
No game for Panama

Matchday 2 - Thursday 6 June (Aubagne)
Ukraine 4-0 ITALY 
Indonesia 0-4 Panama
No game for Japan

Matchday 3 - Saturday 8 June (Fos)
Japan 4-1 Indonesia
Ukraine 2-0 Panama
No game for ITALY

Matchday 4 - Monday 10 June (Aubagne)
14:30 CEST - Ukraine vs. Japan
18:15 CEST - ITALY vs. Panama (press conference to follow)
No game for Indonesia

Matchday 5 - Wednesday 12 June (Salon)
14:30 CEST - Japan vs. Panama
18:15 CEST - ITALY vs. Indonesia (press conference to follow)


Friday 14 June

14:00 CEST - 9th-10th place (Arles)
18:00 CEST - 7th-8th place (Arles)
17:00 CEST - 5th-6th place (Mallemort)

Sunday 16 June

14:30 CEST - 3rd-4th place (Salon)
18:15 CEST - 1st-2nd place (Salon)