Nazionale U21

Giancarlo Antognoni named Head of the Delegation for the Under 21s

The FIGC has chosen the 1982 World Cup champion for the role that he covered from 2015 to 2017: “thrilled to be back, I want to thank the president for this opportunity”

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Giancarlo Antognoni named Head of the Delegation for the Under 21s

Another prestigious return to the Azzurri family. Giancarlo Antognoni, 1982 World Cup champion and part of the Italian Football Hall of Fame, will be the new Head of the Delegation for the Under 21s. Joining Club Italia in 2005 as the coordinator of scouts for the Youth Sector, the ex-Fiorentina player already held the role of Head of the Delegation for the Under 21s from 2015 to 2017. 

Antognoni in azione con il Perù al Mundial '82

But his first tie to the Azzurri jersey came much earlier, in 1973, with his first appearances for the Italy Under 21s and Under 23s. In November 1974, ex-manager Fulvio Bernardini handed him his debut in the Italy senior side at 20 during a European qualifier against the Netherlands. From then on, he became a solid part of the group, featuring regularly in the starting line-ups at both the 1978 World Cup and the Euros hosted by Italy in 1980. The biggest achievement came in Brazil in 1982 where he starred in the brilliant journey that brought Italy their third World Cup title in history. He picked up a total of 73 appearances for the Azzurri (7 goals scored) and became part of the Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2018 as part of the Italian Veterans category.

And after turning 70 on April 1, he is ready for a new adventure with the Azzurri as he replaces Mauro Balata, who the FIGC thanks deeply for his immense commitment over the years. 

Federal President, Gabriele Gravina, stated: “Giancarlo has come home, I am happy that he has accepted the role as Head of the Delegation for the Under 21s. In this way, he can bring the experience of commitment and values of the Azzurri shirt to the young players who are getting ready for the senior stage. In evolving the organisational structure of Club Italia, I aim to involve more ex-athletes and icons of our sport and Antognoni represents Italian football heritage for his seriousness, respect and attachment to the shirt”.

Antognoni said: “Thrilled to be back, president Gravina has given me this opportunity and I thank him deeply for the trust, I will pay it back as I always have. The dream for those who play football is to wear the Azzurri shirt, I managed to do so when I was 20 and I fulfilled an even bigger one when I became a World Cup champion. I will try to pass on those values that I have always had to the lads in the Under 21s and who will represent Italy on an international level, respect for the Azzurri shirt coming before anything else”.