Nazionale U21

Nunziata aware of San Marino: "Let's not forget Latvia. We can't slip up"

The first of two away trips in their Euro 2025 qualifying campaign takes place in Seravalle on Thursday (18:30 CET, live on Rai2). The Head Coach: "Our intensity levels and desire to win were top drawer; this time, we want to play better"

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Nunziata aware of San Marino:

Four games, no goals scored and 17 conceded. Put like this, the Under-21 game between San Marino and Italy, scheduled to take place in Serravalle on Thursday at 18:30 CET (live on Rai 2), looks a foregone conclusion. But this could be said about the clash in September against Latvia in Jurmala, after playing out a goalless draw. Now, Italy are forced into taking the chase in Group A in Euro 2025 qualifying. Carmine Nunziata remembers that game well: "It is often taken for granted that motivation is automatic only because you are representing the National Team. That's a mistake: motivation must always be pursued and we pasid for this against Latvia. The lads are aware we can't slip up again."

Which is what they didn't do in Bolzano against Norway, earning a priceless win in their campaign that sees them also in Cork on Tuesday to face the Republic of Ireland, who currently lead the group. "Against Norway, our intensity levels and desire to win were top drawer, but our performance was lacking a little," analysed the boss. "Against Sa Marino, I want to see an improvement in this aspect". Italy have studied their opponents: "San Marino defend tightly and look to catch you on the break. For this reason, it will be vital to put pressure on them in possession and  mark well". Oristanio has left the camp due to physical issues, while Miretti, Bove and Colombo's conditions are being assessed. 

"The best side will be chosen, regardless of the opposition," said Nunziata. "If there's space and time for other lads to get a chance then I'll be happy. I want to see a team that wants to play its style of football and shows intensity. We're talking about a group of players with important values, as well as technical quality. They made Under-17 and Under-20 finals: certain results are achieved by chance". The development of Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori looked to have been interrupted by a horrible knee injury. "But he's been superb," replied Nunziata. "He was really determined to get back playing and you can see it from his progress. He's come back to Italy and is doing really well; he has found a Head Coach who has changed his on-field position. The more opportunity given to young players, the more they develop." 

Squad List

Sebastiano Desplanches (Palermo), Jacopo Sassi (Pro Vercelli), Gioele Zacchi (Giana Erminio)
Tommaso Barbieri (Pisa), Riccardo Calafiori (Bologna), Diego Coppola (Verona), Daniele Ghilardi (Sampdoria), Samuel Giovane (Ascoli), Gabriele Guarino (Empoli), Lorenzo Pirola (Salernitana), Riccardo Turicchia (Juventus), Mattia Zanotti (Sankt Gallen)
Midfielders: Alessandro Bianco (Reggiana), Edoardo Bove (Roma), Cesare Casadei (Leicester), Giovanni Fabbian (Bologna), Jacopo Fazzini (Empoli), Fabio Miretti (Juventus), Cher Ndour (Paris Saint Germain), Matteo Prati (Cagliari)
Giuseppe Ambrosino (Catanzaro), Lorenzo Colombo (Monza), Francesco Pio Esposito (Spezia), Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds United), Luca Koleosho (Burnley), Cristian Volpato (Sassuolo)

Thursday 16 November 
18:30 CET – San Marino vs. Italy (Serraville)
Friday 17 November
18:00 CET – Norway vs. Republic of Ireland
Tuesday 21 November
17:45 CET - Turkey vs. Norway
18:30 CET – Republic of Ireland vs. Italy (Cork)

Table (games played in brackets): Rep. of Ireland (3) 9, ITALY (3) and Latvia (5) 7, Norway (3) 6, Turkey (4) 3, San Marino (4) 0


Friday 22 March 2024: Italy vs. Latvia
Tuesday 26 March 2024: Italy vs. Turkey
Thursday 5 September 2024: Italy vs. San Marino
Tuesday 10 September 2024: Norway vs. Italy
Tuesday 15 October 2024: Italy vs. Republic of Ireland