Nazionale U21

Euro 2023 Qualifiers. Nicolato: "Against Bosnia we will need great attention, it will be an open game until the very end"

The head coach, worried about the conditions of the ground, is still in doubt about his choice of goalkeeper for tomorrow's match in Zenica (Kick-Off: 17:30 CEST)

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Euro 2023 Qualifiers. Nicolato:

One month on from the two wins against Luxembourg and Montenegro, the Under 21 National Team is ready to resume their European qualifying journey with two other qualifying matches for Euro 2023. They start with Bosnia, the national team that the Azzurrini will face tomorrow afternoon in Zenica, and that they have met only once in the past, on 3 September 2010 in another qualifying match for the European Championship match, won by Italy 1-0.

The choice of goalkeeper and the conditions of the pitch are the two main thoughts on Paolo Nicolato’s mind on the eve of the match. The injury-enforced absence of starter Marco Carnesecchi has led the coach to hand a first ever call-up to Semuel Pizzignacco of Vicenza. Alessandro Russo (Alessandria) and Stefano Turati (Reggina) are also vying for the starting role. “I will decide tomorrow morning”, said the coach in today's press conference. “I want to take the time I need, to discuss it with my staff and with the players, after seeing them in training".

And then there’s the rain, which is falling abundantly and doesn’t promise to stop. “We hope to find a pitch that is up to the situation. I would not like this to affect the progress of the match. It continues to rain, and only rain is forecast, something we’d have preferred to not encounter, but this is how it is and we’ll have to adapt”. As he has already stated in recent days, Nicolato reiterated his call on the Azzurrini to take to the pitch in a concentrated manner, and not to underestimate their opponents: "Bosnia proved to be very difficult from a defensive point of view, they’re a team that have a strong sense of identity, they suffer very little, concede very little, we must know that the game will be open until the very end, and we must have the strength to stay in it with lots of attention because they are also very good at counter-attacking. I think it will be a complex game, but we know that there are no easy games at this level. Compared to last year, it seems to me that our group is one in which points can be lost against different teams and the first matches have already shown this”.

The new two-year period was got off to a good start, but Nicolato invites us to reflect on a fact, in light of what Spain showed against Mancini's national team: “Spain's ability to produce young players is very high. We don’t have the youngsters, we don’t have such a large pool from which to draw. They can also afford to leave very good young guys at home, and we must reflect on this”.

Squad list

Goalkeepers: Semuel Pizzignacco (Vicenza), Alessandro Russo (Alessandria), Stefano Turati (Reggina);

Defenders: Raoul Bellanova (Cagliari), Riccardo Calafiori (Roma), Andrea Cambiaso (Genoa), Simone Canestrelli (Crotone), Andrea Carboni (Cagliari), Gabriele Ferrarini (Perugia), Matteo Lovato (Atalanta), Kaleb Okoli (Cremonese), Lorenzo Pirola (Monza), Iyenoma Destiny Udogie (Udinese);

Midfielders: Marco Brescianini (Monza), Salvatore Esposito (Spal), Nicolò Fagioli (Cremonese), Filippo Ranocchia (Vicenza), Samuele Ricci (Empoli), Nicolò Rovella (Genoa), Sandro Tonali (Milan);

Forwards: Matteo Cancellieri (Hellas Verona), Lorenzo Colombo (Spal), Sebastiano Esposito (FC Basel), Lorenzo Lucca (Pisa), Samuele Mulattieri (Crotone), Roberto Piccoli (Atalanta), Emanuel Vignato (Bologna).

Schedule (all times CEST) 

Thursday 7 October 2021

10:30 Training (behind closed doors)

14:00 Press conference – Head Coach Nicolato (RAI in attendance, otherwise broadcast via zoom)

17:30 Technical meeting

19:00 Visit to the FF BH Football Training Centre


Friday 8 October 2021

09:00 Exclusive RAI interview – Nicolato

10:30 Training (behind closed doors)

12:55 Technical meeting

17:30 FF BH Football Training Centre


Post-match press conference to follow (RAI in attendance, otherwise broadcast via zoom)                               

Saturday 9 October 2021

11:00 Charter flight Sarajevo – Milan Malpensa and subsequent transfer to Novarello Villaggio Azzurro via Dante Graziosi,1 Granozzo con Monticello

17:30 Training (behind closed doors)


Sunday 10 October 2021

10:30 Training (behind closed doors)

14:00 RAI interview with Nicolato for La Domenica Sportiva

17:30 Training (behind closed doors)

20:10 Technical meeting

Monday 11 October 2021

10:30 Training (behind closed doors)

14:00 Press conference – Head Coach Nicolato (RAI in attendance, otherwise broadcast via zoom)

16:00 Departure for hotel in Monza area

19:00 Visit to Stadio Brianteo in Monza


Tuesday 12 October 2021

09:30 Exclusive RAI interview – Nicolato

10:30 Muscle workout

12:40 Technical meeting

17:30 Stadio Brianteo


Post-match press conference to follow (RAI in attendance, otherwise broadcast via zoom) and subsequent return to respective clubs