Four days to remember for PierozziThe Reggina full-back, who grew up in Fiorentina together with his twin brother Edoardo, made his debut in Serbia on Friday and tells figc.it: "I can't wait to breathe the air of the 'Granillo' for Monday's match against Ukraine. The crowd is extraordinary, we are looking forward to another special night".
Saturday, March 25, 2023
In their youth at Fiorentina, Niccolò and Edoardo Pierozzi were two peas in a pod. Indistinguishable, if not for the number on the jersey. Today it is easier to differentiate, because one - Niccolò - wears the Reggina amaranth while the other wears the Como jersey. Blue, like the national team jersey that Niccolò wore for the first time in Backa Topola, Serbia. Of the twins, 'Nicco' was the first to make his debut, but as soon as he turned on his smartphone upon returning to the locker room, he found a message from 'Edo'. 'We are one,' Pierozzi told figc.it, 'and we are one even from a distance. Obviously we grew up together, now our young careers have taken different paths but we never lack support for each other. He is happier than I am for this debut, a great emotion. And I think I also had a good first match".
Nicolato chose him as the right midfielder for the match that was won 2-0 thanks to Samuele Mulattieri's brace. "Obviously I hope to have more chances, but these can only be built with daily work,' he says. "I'm working hard". The National team, who left Backa Topola after the match to Belgrade to then fly to Italy the next morning. Destination Reggio Calabria, where Monday at 20:00 CEST (live streaming on figc.it and on the social media pages of the National team) the match against Ukraine is scheduled. Niccolò knows the 'Oreste Granillo' stadium very well: Amaranth, but blue for one evening. "It will be beautiful, because I'm sure that the people of Reggio Calabria will come to the stadium en masse to support us and enjoy an evening that hasn't happened in a long time with the national team," he says. "The Reggina fans are fantastic, and we players are the first to be sorry for the poor form we are in".
Edoardo, busy training with Como, won't be in the stands, "but it is as if he were there with me". "Playing in the same league, we give each other advice on opponents," he reveals. "We have no particular superstitious rituals. It's just a shame about that own goal...". Yes, because there was a Saturday (25 February) when Niccolò and Edoardo scored within a few minutes of each other: Niccolò in Reggina vs Modena, Edoardo in Como vs Cosenza. A deflection by a Cosenza defender, however, turned that goal into an own goal. "But maybe it will happen again...".
The first Azzurri memories of the Pierozzi twins, born in 2001, are those of the 2006 World Cup, won by Italy with Pippo Inzaghi, who now trains Reggina, and Niccolò on the pitch. "We used to watch the matches at the seaside with my family, they are my first flashes of being on a football pitch," he recalls. "Inzaghi made a great impression on me: he conveys all his charisma and strong character, but the thing that struck me most of all is his willingness to question himself every day despite having won everything as a player." The question comes naturally: what will happen to his Under-21 debut jersey? "At home, framed, hoping that it is only the first one. And that in the future it might be necessary to put Niccolò's N before the surname: it would mean having Edo in the same team".
Exhibition. Reggio Calabria will be the venue for the first stage of 'Sfumature d'Azzurro' (Shades of Blue), the new travelling exhibition of the Football Museum that will accompany the home matches of the National Under-21 team in 2023. The exhibition will tell the story of the history and triumphs of the men's senior national team together with those of the Azzurri youth national teams and the Olympic national team, thanks to a selection of memorabilia from the Coverciano Museum collection. The World cup won at the 2006 competition in Germany and the European Championship won at Wembley in 2021 will be present. Free admission. The exhibition will also be open this afternoon from 15:00 to 19:00 CET, Sunday from 9:00 to 12.30 CET and 15:00 to 19:00 CET and Monday from 8.30 to 13:00 CEST, with free admission.
Ticketing. Tickets for the match on Monday 27 against Ukraine can be purchased at Vivaticket sales points and on the websites figc.vivaticket.it and vivaticket.com.
Goalkeepers: Elia Caprile (Bari), Alessandro Sorrentino (Monza), Stefano Turati (Frosinone);
Defenders: Raoul Bellanova (Inter), Andrea Carboni (Venezia), Antonino Gallo (Lecce), Matteo Lovato (Salernitana), Caleb Okoli (Atalanta), Fabiano Parisi (Empoli), Niccolò Pierozzi (Reggina), Lorenzo Pirola (Salernitana), Matteo Ruggeri (Atalanta), Destiny Iyenoma Udogie (Udinese), Mattia Viti (Nizza), Alessandro Zanoli (Sampdoria);
Midfielders: Edoardo Bove (Roma), Cesare Casadei (Reading), Salvatore Esposito (Spezia), Giovanni Fabbian (Reggina), Nicolò Fagioli (Juventus), Samuele Ricci (Torino), Bruno Zapelli (Belgrano);
Forwards: Tommaso Baldanzi (Empoli), Matteo Cancellieri (Lazio), Lorenzo Colombo (Lecce), Samuele Mulattieri (Frosinone), Gaetano Pio Oristanio (Volendam)
Saturday 25 March
17.00 CET training (closed)
Sunday 26 March
10.30 CET training (closed)
13.45 CET Nicolato press conference (Zoom and in person)
18.30 CET walk around the stadium
Monday 27 March
20.00 CET ITALY vs Ukraine (Stadio O. Granillo–Reggio Calabria)
followed by a post-match press conference via Zoom and in person and, then, the group disbands.