Bosnia and Herzegovina the opponents in Palermo as the Azzurre look to make it four from four in EURO 2021 qualificationTomorrow at 17:30 CEST, Italy can hold onto top spot. First call-up fr Aprile as she comes in fr Baldi
Monday, October 7, 2019
After making three wins from three following victories in Israel, Georgia and Malta, the Women’s National Team are set to play at home for the first time in EURO 2021 qualification. Tomorrow at 17:30 CEST, the Stadio Renzo Barbera in Palermo will host the Azzurre as they face Bosnia and Herzegovina who are 65th in the FIFA ranking and third in the group on six points behind Italy and Denmark who are both still on full points. Italy will play for the third time in Palermo having previously won there in June 1971 when they beat Austria 6-0 and in October 2000 when it finished 3-0 against Portugal. Tomorrow, Rachele Baldi will be unavailable and Milena Bertolini has named Inter goalkeeper Roberto Aprile as her replacement and it’s her first senior call-up.
“It’s nice to be back in Italy after the World Cup,” said the Coach at the pre-match press conference. “I also really like the idea of playing in Palermo. “There’s lots of talent in the south but less opportunity and structure so for the team to come to this city which has history in women’s football is an important way to promote the movement. I have faith in the warmth and passion that the people of Palermo have for football.”
The side must make sure not to take Bosnia and Herzegovina for granted: “We’ll be up against a physically strong and aggressive side,” warned Bertolini. “They also have better individuals compared to the sides we’ve faced so far. Up to this point, we’ve played very compact sides who it’s been difficult to find space. We’ve not been very clinical in front of goal while at the World Cup, we were one of the most efficient sides in front of goal. Italy haven’t yet hit the heights of the World Cup when they won the hearts of millions. “In France, we were debutants and we experienced really strong emotions and it was all a bit unknown,” added Bertolini. “Now, we’re struggling a bit in this regard and we have to get back to our best because goal difference could also be important.”
The exploits of the Italy National Team also led to an increase in the number of registered female players. “The World Cup left an important mark,” Bertolini explained. “It gave lots of girls the chance to imagine themselves as the players of the future. The World Cup left a positive image, this has to be managed and relaunched. The Federation is working on different projects, the biggest aim for women’s football is to increased participation and g from 25,000 players to 100,000 which would also have a cultural impact.”
Sara Gama also has faith in the Sicilian fans: “We expect a good welcome, I’ve never played in Palermo and I believe that the presence of the National Team could be a big opportunity for the city and the south,” she said. “We’re at the start of a journey, there are a lot of news girls and the mountain is still there to be climbed.”
This morning, 500 students from Palermo schools met a delegation from the team at the Cittadella Universitaria. At the event, assistant delegation head Barbara Facchetti spoke along with the players Elena Linari, Rachele Baldi and Gloria Marinelli who spoke about their experiences and answered questions. They discussed sport in the local area where there has been increased participation in girls’ football projects. Also, there was Rosalia Pipitone, the Roma goalkeeper from Palermo who retired from international football after the World Cup.
Tickets for the match can be bought from the ticket booths at the Curva Sud from 14:30 CEST.
Goalkeepers: Roberta Aprile (FC Inter), Laura Giuliani (Juventus), Francesca Durante (Fiorentina Women);
Defenders: Elisa Bartoli (AS Roma), Lisa Boattin (Juventus), Laura Fusetti (AC Milan), Sara Gama (Juventus), Alia Guagni (Fiorentina Women), Elena Linari (Atletico Madrid), Linda Tucceri Cimini (AC Milan);
Midfielders: Valentina Bergamaschi (AC Milan), Valentina Cernoia (Juventus), Aurora Galli (Juventus), Manuela Giugliano (AS Roma), Benedetta Glionna (Hellas Verona), Giada Greggi (AS Roma), Gloria Marinelli (FC Inter), Martina Rosucci (Juventus), Annamaria Serturini (AS Roma);
Forwards: Cristiana Girelli (Juventus), Valentina Giacinti (AC Milan), Daniela Sabatino (Sassuolo), Stefania Tarenzi (FC Inter).
Staff –Head Coach: Milena Bertolini; Assistant Coach: Nicola Matteucci; Assistant Delegation Head: Barbara Facchetti; Women's Teams Co-ordinator: Annarita Stallone; Secretary: Alessandra Savini Nicci; Fitness Coach: Francesco Perondi; Goalkeeping Coach: Cristiano Viotti; Match Analyst: Marco Mannucci; Doctors: Luca Gatteschi, Antonio Ponzo; Physiotherapists: Maurizio D’Angelo, Matteo Cossa; Nutritionist: Natale Gentile.