Nazionale U19

European Under-19 Championship: the Azzurrini drawn alongside France, Slovakia and Romania

Five Under-20 World Cup places will also be up for grabs. Nunziata: “Two balanced groups, we’ll do everything we can to go all the way”

Thursday, April 28, 2022

European Under-19 Championship: the Azzurrini drawn alongside France, Slovakia and Romania

France, Slovakia and Romania will be Italy’s opponents in the European Under-19 Championship finals, which are scheduled to take place from 18 June to 1 July in Slovakia. This was the outcome of this morning’s draw held in Šamorín, with the eight teams involved being split into two groups of four. The top two in each section will progress to the semi-finals. Those four teams will qualify for the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia, along with the winner of a play-off between the sides that finish third in the two groups, thus filling UEFA’s five slots.

The Azzurrini will be aiming to build on the excellent things they did during the Elite Round of qualifying, when they finished first in a very tough group containing hosts Finland, Germany and Belgium. Italy will play their first match against Romania on 18 June before facing Slovakia three days later and France on 24 June.

“The groups seem to be balanced,” said Head Coach Carmine Nunziata. “We know we’ll have to give 100% in all our matches to progress. France are very strong, but Slovakia, with home advantage behind them, will also be difficult to face. As for Romania, they mustn’t be underestimated: like all of the teams involved, they won their Elite Round group. With World Cup qualification also up for grabs, it’s a very important tournament.”

After their final defeats in 2016 (4-0 against Mbappè’s France) and in 2018 (4-3 after extra time against Portugal), the Under-19 National Team are dreaming of winning a trophy that Italy have only lifted once before, in 2003 in Liechtenstein.

“We’ll try to do everything we can to go all the way,” concluded Nunziata. “We know, however, that we’ll need to turn up in the best shape possible physically.”

European Under-19 Championship groups

Group A: Slovakia, Romania, ITALY, France

Group B: England, Israel, Elite round Group 6 winner (one of the Netherlands, Norway, Serbia or Ukraine), Austria

The Azzurrini’s calendar (all times CEST)

18 June: ITALY vs. Romania (20:00, Dunajská Streda)
21 June: Slovakia vs. ITALY (17:30, Trnava)
24 June: France vs. ITALY (17:30, Dunajská Streda)