11 September 2023
European Championship groups drawn: Italy with Malta, Portugal and Poland.From 3 to 16 July, the Azzurrini will be engaged against the hosts, the Poles have already been faced in the first round and as well as the top-ranked national team in Europe. The coach: "The boys have deserved this achievement, with the passing of the months we have become a team".
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Malta, Portugal and Poland. These are the opponents of the National Under-19 team in the final phase of the European Championship, scheduled in Malta from 3 to 16 July. Alberto Bollini's Azzurrini, who clinched a place in the top eight in Germany back in March, are therefore ready to make an assault on a European category title that has been missing for 20 years. The last two finals, on the other hand, Italy reached in 2016 (when they were defeated by France in Sinsheim, Germany) and in 2018, when Portugal denied the 18 year-olds the title in the final in Seinäjoki (Finland).
The draw took place at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta, with the national team finding the hosts on their way, as well as the Poles - already faced and defeated 1-0, in Poland, in the first qualifying phase - and Portugal, first in the Under-19 ranking and, for this reason, directly entered the Elite Round, where they eliminated the Czech Republic, Sweden and Croatia, scoring seven goals without conceding one. The other group includes Iceland (another debutant, like Malta, but capable of eliminating defending champions England), Greece, Norway and Spain.
"There is a great atmosphere of expectation for this competition" coach Alberto Bollini commented on Malta. "The team arrive at this European Championship after an uphill path, but fully deserving the goal of the final phase. With the passing of the months we have become a team, and this has given us enthusiasm and pride, also derived from having reached qualification in a super competitive group (with Germany, Belgium and Slovenia, ed). Malta, in addition to being the host team, of the local national teams is the one that has the most players in the European championships and for this reason it must be absolutely respected; Poland, on the other hand, we faced them already in September and they have an Academy model that trains the national team almost like a club, so we are talking about a very close-knit group. And then there is a big one like Portugal, which is presenting itself with its numbers. The biggest unknown factor is the fact that it will be played in July, in a period with no activity, but we will be ready".
Italy will make their debut on Monday 3 July at 21:00 CEST against Malta at the National Stadium in Ta'Qali - which also recently hosted the challenge between the major national teams valid for the EURO 2024 qualifiers -, before taking the field on Thursday 6 July at 18:00 CEST against Portugal at the Centenary Stadium (also in Ta'Qali) and returning to the National Stadium on Sunday 9 July at 18:00 CEST to face Poland.
UEFA EURO Under 19 2023
Group A: Malta, Portugal, Polond, ITALY
Gruppo B: Iceland, Greece, Norway, Spain
First matchday - Monday 3 June
Malta vs ITALY (21 CEST, National Stadium, Ta'Qali)
Second matchday - Thursday 6 July
Portugal vs ITALY (18 CEST, Centenary Stadium, Ta'Qali)
Third matchday - Sunday 9 July
ITALY vs Poland (18 CEST, National Stadium, Ta'Qali)
Semifinals: Thursday 13 July
Finals: Sunday 16 July