13 September 2023
Ernst & Young retain Azzurri Partner Cup. Eni finish secondThe Gialloneri fight back to beat the Gialloblù 2-1 thanks to goals from Mariella and Andriani. Finishing top goalscorer was Luca Selvaggi, son of 1982 World Cup winner Franco
Saturday, September 16, 2023
From outsiders to the team to beat: Ernst & Young are Champions! For the second year running, the Gialloneri have lifted the Azzurri Partner Cup, the 7-a-side tournament played between FIGC and National Italian Teams' business partners - as well as Museo del Calcio side (Italy Football Museum) -, that took place at Coverciano yesterday. The "magnificent 13" of Ernst & Young won the 5th edition by coming from behind to beat Eni 2-1. The final. refereed by Matteo Marcenaro, with Edoardo Raspollini and Marco Ricci on the line, was decided bygoals from Mariella and Andriani, who replied to Vitale's opener.
It was a day passed in the name of fun and fair play, but the right dose of healthy competition wasn't lacking. The 24 participating teams (equaling the record of teams present in 2022) brought the pitches at the Federal Technical centre to life, with Francesco Totti taking part as player-coach for Volkswagen, who, despite a great run, were knocked out at the semi-final stage by the eventual champions. Also present was Angelo Di Livio, who was unable to lead his Poste Italiane side to their second successive final after being stopped by the other finalist, Eni.
Standouts in the winning team was an outstanding Di Carlo, who ended up the team's leading scorer with six goals, and Benedetta Franco, part of Ernst & Young's squad after playing for Bellinzago in Piedmont's Eccellenza league. Last year, she got injured just days before the tournament started, but made up for her bad luck in the best possible way this year. "We had three selection processes to go through to get here," underlined the Gialloneri player, "and we built a really excellent team both on and off the pitch. I'm really happy because the coach gave me lots of minutes; I didn't think I could complete with men in 7-a-side. My teammates supported me all the way through and I'm really glad to have taken part in this adventure. Winning the trophy at such a special place is a dream come true."
The defending champions, Ernst & Young, were crowned champions by two World Cup winners, the current Head of Delegation for the Azzurri, Gigi Buffon (2006), and Marco Tardelli (1982), who as well as handing over the trophy to captain Manuel Iaquitto also presented awards to several individuals: top goalscorer went to 1988-born striker, Luca Selvaggi, who got nine goals. The player from Calia, with a past of playing in Udinese's youth teams, is the son of 1982 World Cup winner Franco and, for the occasion, was given his award by his father's former Azzurri teammate Marco Tardelli. The best goalkeeper was assigned to Ernst & Young's Ettore Steni, who received the award from Gianluigi "Gigi" Buffon. Instead, the Fair Play award was given to Lete.
Fair play: Lete
Top goalscorer: Luca Selvaggi (Calia)
Best goalkeeper: Ettore Steni (Ernst & Young)
Top spot: Ernst & Young
|3||Museo del Calcio||3||0||1||2||-8||1|
|4||Università San Raffaele||3||0||0||3||-9||0|