The FIFA eNations StayAndPlay Cup kicks off tomorrow: Galliani a special fan of the Romagnoli-Cacciapuoti duoThe Monza CEO supporting our TIMVISION eNazionale: “Er Caccia is one of our players and I brought Alessio to AC Milan in 2015. I’ve put myself forward for Team Manager, I call them every night to check if they’re training...”
Monday, April 20, 2020
Tomorrow sees the start of the FIFA eNations StayAndPlay Cup, a virtual tournament organised by the world confederation which will host an Azzurri team of Alessio Romagnoli, AC Milan and National Team defender, and Raffaele ‘Er_caccia98’ Cacciapuoti, eplayer for Monza and winner of the TIMVISION FIFA20 PlayStation tournament organised by the FIGC. Plenty of fans will be watching the event live on TIMVISION (and on twitch.tv/esl_it or enazionale.figc.it: the tournament kicking off against Spain at 17:00 CEST tomorrow, check out the full schedule at the bottom of this article), but there’s one special fan of our Azzurri pair in Adriano Galliani, with AC Monza’s CEO and former AC Milan director holding strong links to both members of our Azzurri TIMVISION eNazionale.
Galliani is more than excited about the duo set to represent Italy: “I’ve put myself forward as Team Manager for the side: I brought Alessio to AC Milan in 2015, while Raffaele is a Monza eplayer, as soon as I heard I put them in contact with each other so that they could get practicing, and recently I’ve called them every night to check on how training for the tournament is going.” Galliani is a well-versed fan of esports himself: “I’m used to following PlayStation games thanks to my children and grandchildren, I have to say that FIFA games are interesting, it’s a great game and I understand why it’s become so big worldwide. We formed a team at Monza this season, we had two main players in Er Caccia and Figurinho, both of whom faced off in the final to decide who would represent Italy. I’m proud of them: seeing as we can’t provide any national players from Monza right now, I’m happy that we can contribute with eplayers.”
But with one day until the three matches to decide the Azzurri’s fate in this FIFA tournament, it’s hard to make any predictions: “I’ve got some experience in football, I know our opponents and the players, but that’s not the case here. It’s not easy to make a prediction, but I hope that it will be positive. Er Caccia is a strong player, and Alessio certainly knows how to get by.”
Alessio Romagnoli is ready for his debut and wanted to thank Galliani for getting in touch with him straight away on Friday to spur him on: “He was happy, he greeted me and wished me the best of luck. Together with Coach Mihajlovic, Galliani was fundamental in bringing me to AC Milan. I can only be eternally grateful for what he’s done for me. He’s a great director, you can see that in the history of his achievements.” Romagnoli will be making his debut in international esports competitions against Spain, the same opponent he faced in his first appearance for the Azzurri: it was 6 October 2016 and he came up against “La Furia Roja” aged just 21 in Turin in a qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with the match ending 1-1. Our Azzurri defender will be facing footballers or celebrities from Spain (DjMariio, an esports YouTuber with 5.5 million followers), Portugal (Diogo Jota, a striker for Wolverhampton with two appearances for “A Seleção”) and Malta (Dunstan Vella, a midfielder for Hibernians with seven caps for the National Team).
Raffaele “er caccia98” Cacciapuoti will be representing Italy in the tournament after winning the TIMVISION online qualifiers organised by the FIGC last week, as 32 players battled it out in a final round after 8,000 entered over the last few months. “Where can we finish? It’s hard to say, we’re hoping to enjoy it and at least get through the group stage. Jaime "Gravesen" Álvarez [ed. a player for Real Zaragoza], will be representing Spain, he’s one of the best in the world, I played him in Paris this year and lost, we’re hoping to get our revenge; Portugal have Diogo Mendes [a player for Sporting Lisbon], one of the best in the world on Xbox, while Malta have Christian Spiteri.” But he will be able to count on an exceptional teammate: “I’ve been playing with Alessio over the last few days, we’ve played some warm-up games and discussed players and tactics, he’s ready for it and he seems very prepared, it means that the pressure isn’t entirely on me.” A bit of pressure’s only natural, seeing as this will be his international debut in an Azzurri shirt: “There’s the desire to do well right away, also because only one team progresses, but I know that it will be a great feeling to represent Italy in a FIFA tournament.”
After this friendly tournament, Cacciapuoti will return to play-offs for the 32 best Italian players, which have currently been postponed due to the COVID-19 emergency, with the tournament deciding the eplayer to definitively represent the FIFA 20 TIMVISION eNazionale ahead of the FIFA eNations Cup, the most important world tournament of them all. Qualification will see the best 16 players on PlayStation 4 face off, with the same number competing on Xbox One after the initial rounds of online qualifiers.
The FIFA eNations StayAndPlay Cup. A friendly tournament organised by FIFA with the objective of keeping international football alive and sharing positive messages in this difficult time. It will take place on FIFA 20 (EA Sports) on PlayStation and will see countless federations around the world participating, each represented by a professional eplayer and a footballer from their respective national teams.
Italy will kick off their tournament with a double header against Spain in the group stage (the first game between the eplayers at 17:00 CEST and the second between the footballers/celebrities at 17:40 CEST), then meeting Malta (at 18:20 and 19:00 CEST), while Wednesday 22 April (17:00 and 17:40 CEST) will see them play Portugal. The top team in each group will qualify for the knockout stage, which will be shown live on Friday 24 April, before the final stage which will be played on 25 April.
All of the Azzurri’s games will be streamed live on TIMVISION, TIM’s TV platform, on the website https://enazionale.figc.it/ and on ESL Italia’s Twitch channel at https://www.twitch.tv/esl_it. It will also be possible to follow the tournament on TIM’s Instagram and Facebook pages.