Nazionale U21

Under-21 Euros, the final eight in June 2021. Nicolato: “It will be a new experience”

The qualifiers starting in September, the top 16 then into another tournament and only the top 8 to play the European Championship in Hungary and Slovenia

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Under-21 Euros, the final eight in June 2021. Nicolato: “It will be a new experience”

The final phase of the Under-21 European Championship will take place from 31 May to 6 June 2021, providing a taste of what’s to come with UEFA EURO 2020 next summer, with the continental tournament having been postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 emergency. UEFA’s Executive Committee approved a new format for the tournament today, as for the first time in history, 16 teams will partake in the final phase, opposed to the 12 who played in Italy back in 2019. The ongoing qualifiers will come to an end between September and November 2020, with the winners of the nine groups and the five best second-placed nations then coming together in the two host countries, Hungary and Slovenia, for another group stage from 24 to 31 March 2021 made up of four groups of four teams. The winners and second-placed teams from each group will then progress to the final eight-team tournament phase, once more played in Hungary and Slovenia from 31 May to 6 June 2021, this time with a knockout format.

Italy’s Under-21s will make their return to the pitch in September, having not played since 19 November, when they recorded a huge 6-0 victory over Armenia at the Stadio Cibali in Catania. The Azzurrini currently sit in second place of Group 1, on 13 points from five games (four wins and one draw, with 15 goals scored and zero conceded) and just three points off the leaders Ireland with two games in hand. Paolo Nicolato commented on the news, saying: “I’m happy that a generation of players won’t miss out on the important experience for their own careers that the U21 Euros provides. It certainly won’t be easy getting back onto the pitch after almost a year since the last game and it will be a new experience with plenty of unknowns, but we’re hoping to do well, just like we’ve done in the past.”