European Championship. 20-man Italy squad named for tournament in ArmeniaHead Coach Nunziata: "It’s a young squad, but we want to be one of the key players"
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Carmine Nunziata has announced his 20-man squad for the Under-19 European Championship, which is set to take place in Armenia from 14 to 27 July. Yesterday, the team’s week-long camp came to an end, with 25 players having trained under the watchful eyes of the Head Coach and the National Youth Team Coordinator Maurizio Viscidi. “Making such decisions is always difficult,” emphasised Nunziata. “But a coach must consider the physical condition and fitness of everyone, also taking into account those who haven’t played for a month following the conclusion of the league season. The Head Coach will have to go without Salvatore Esposito and Alessio Riccardi, with the former having played as a starter at the Under-20 World Cup and the latter having suffered from injury problems. Davide Bettella and Raoul Bellanova, who played throughout the qualification phase, will also be absent: both lined up for Nicolato’s side over the course of the World Cup in Poland.
A very young side is set to head to Armenia. In fact, exactly half of the squad are considered under age: nine were born in 2001 (Russo, Armini, Gozzi Iweru, Fagioli, Greco, Riccardi, Petrelli, Piccoli, Salcedo) and one in 2002, Destiny Udogie. The Hellas Verona defender impressed as Italy made it to the final of the Under-17 European Championship in Ireland at the end of May. The choices made by the Head Coach reflect a philosophy in the Italian youth set-up that aims to provide the players with the maximum amount of international experience. “It’s certainly a young team,” Nunziata continued. “but it’s also an able side. Apart from Udogie, these are players who were involved in the two qualification phases and who will have the opportunity to demonstrate what they’re all about in the upcoming competition. It’s disappointing that I won’t have Esposito, Bettella and Bellanova at my disposal, but their involvement in the World Cup was a demanding – albeit fantastic – experience, both physically and mentally. Eventually, you pay the price. As regards Alessio Riccardi, that small problem with his flexor has prevented him from being called up. He has a lot in his locker and will have the chance to show his qualities.”
Regarding the tournament, Nunziata has the following warning: “Fitness levels will be very important given that our leagues have been over for a while now. In our group, there will be Spain and Portugal, two sides that have traditionally always been excellent, both physically and technically. Furthermore, we’ll be facing a side playing at home – they’ll do everything to show their fans what they’re about. However, our objective is to be one of the key players at the European Championship,” concluded the Head Coach.
Italy will get together in Fiumicino tomorrow before flying out to Yerevan on Thursday 11 July.
Goalkeepers: Marco Carnesecchi (Atalanta), Alessandro Russo (Genoa);
Defenders: Nicolò Armini (Lazio), Gabriele Bellodi (Milan), Antonio Candela (Genoa), Gabriele Corbo (Bologna), Niccolò Corrado (Inter), Paolo Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), Destiny Udogie Iyenoma (Hellas Verona);
Midfielders: Nicolò Fagioli (Juventus), Lorenzo Gavioli (Inter), Jean Freddi Greco (Torino), Hans Nicolussi Caviglia (Juventus), Manolo Portanova (Juventus), Samuele Ricci (Empoli);
Forwards: Davide Merola (Inter), Elia Petrelli (Juventus), Roberto Piccoli (Atalanta), Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo), Eddie Anthony Salcedo Mora (Inter).
Staff: Head of Delegation, Evaristo Beccalossi; National Youth Team Coordinator, Maurizio Viscidi; Head Coach, Carmine Nunziata; Assistant Coach, Mirco Gasparetto; Fitness Coach, Luca Coppari; Goalkeeper Coach, Graziano Vinti; Match Analyst, Marco Mannucci; Doctors, Vincenzo Santoriello and Lorenzo Ticca; Physiotherapists, Giuseppe Galli and Angelo Cartocci; Secretary, Aldo Blessich; Press Officer, Giuseppe Ingrati; Administration, Antonio Martuscelli; Guidance Counsellor, Stefano Presciutti.
European Championship groups
Group A: Armenia, ITALY, Portugal and Spain
Group B: Republic of Ireland, France, Norway and Czech Republic
Italy’s schedule (all times CEST)
Sunday 14 July: Italy vs. Portugal (19:00 Banants Stadium, Yerevan)
Wednesday 17 July: Armenia vs. Italy (19:00 Repubblican Stadium, Yerevan)
Saturday 20 July: Italy vs. Spain (19:00, FFA Academy Stadium, Yerevan)