Nazionale U19

U19 EURO finals draw held: Italy in same group as Northern Ireland, Norway and Ukraine

Corradi: “We’ll try to go all the way”

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

U19 EURO finals draw held: Italy in same group as Northern Ireland, Norway and Ukraine

The UEFA European Under-19 Championship final tournament draw took place in Belfast today, with Italy, the current European Champions, being drawn alongside Northern Ireland (the hosts), Norway and Ukraine in Group A. Group B, meanwhile, contains Denmark, Türkiye, France and Spain. Pafundi and Co. will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Bollini’s side, who triumphed in Malta a year ago.

Bernardo Corradi knows it’ll be difficult to replicate such a victory but certainly not impossible: “The organisers have said it themselves: this is the hardest competition to qualify for; only the teams who finished first in the Elite Round groups have made it this far. The sides who will play in Northern Ireland have a lot of quality. Given we’re the defending champions, we have a double responsibility: to represent Italy and do well like those who have come before us.”

Corradi has set the first objective: “We want to be involved in the U20 World Cup, so the initial aim is the semi-finals. That would be a good result for football in this country. However, given, our history, tradition and mentality, we should always aim to win it.” Italy will play their opening game against Norway on Monday 15 July, after which they’ll take on Northern Ireland three days later and Ukraine on Sunday 21 July. The top two from the two groups will qualify for both the semi-finals and the U20 World Cup in Chile in 2025. Meanwhile, the two third-place teams will meet to determine the final UEFA qualifier for next year’s tournament in South America.

Corradi isn’t frightened by statistics and the fact that only Spain have ever won the tournament back to back: “Records are there to be broken or, in this case, equalled. I give some importance to statistics, but only up to a certain point. We qualified for this tournament thanks to three wins in the Elite Round, which hadn’t occurred since 2008. However, if we don’t do well in the finals, those nine points aren’t worth anything.”

This team can still make big strides forward: “All youngsters have room for improvement. The Federation’s objective is to identify good players and allow them to grow and make their way through the youth ranks until they make the step up to the senior side. We’ll approach the tournament step by step. It comes at the end of a long and demanding season, and resting will also be part of our thinking. Nevertheless, the first phase of our preparations will be more physical, while we’ll then move on to focusing on our opponents and tactical work.”

Group A: Northern Ireland, Norway, Italy, Ukraine

Group B: Denmark, Türkiye, France, Spain



Seaview Stadium, Belfast: Group stage and FIFA U20 World Cup play-off
Inver Park, Larne: Group stage
National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast: Semi-finals and final

The Azzurrini’s matches

15 July, Italy vs. Norway
18 July, Italy vs. Northern Ireland
21 July, Italy vs. Ukraine


Group stage: 15-16, 18-19, 21-22 July
U20 World Cup play-off: 25 July
Semi-finals: 25 July
Final: 28 July

Previous winners

2002 Spain; 2003 Italy; 2004 Spain, 2005 France; 2006 Spain; 2007 Spain; 2008 Germania; 2009 Ukraine; 2010 France; 2011 Spain; 2012 Spain; 2013 Serbia; 2014 Germania; 2015 Spain; 2016 France; 2017 England; 2018 Portogallo; 2019 Spain; 2022 England; 2023 Italy