Italy coach Roberto Mancini is set to field the majority of the squad that won the Euro 2020 title, including the penalty hero and Euro 2020 Player of the Year Gianluigi Donnarumma, for the final match of the Nations League against Spain. Italy will face Spain again in the semi-final the winners go on to face either France or Belgium in the Final on Sunday at San Siro.
“Spain were the team we struggled against most during EURO 2020,” admits Roberto Mancini ahead of the semi-final. “They are a good team with good players. It will be a good match. [Passing the ball on the ground is] something they are the best at. We didn’t have the time to master it at their level. It will be different this time.”
Mancini also added that winning the Nations League following the European Championship win “would be amazing” and “it would be amazing to qualify for the World Cup early” but admits that “it won’t be that easy.” Italy are also bidding to extend a world-record unbeaten run of 37 matches. Mancini also recalled the Euro 2020 win in the same interview saying that it “made many people happy.”
“The best things about the EURO? Probably the relationship we created within the team. It was a group that worked together for 50 days and that’s not easy. They were hard, tiring [days], but there weren’t any issues. It was the chemistry and the love [between them all; that] isn’t something easy to obtain,” he added. Here is Italy’s squad for the UEFA Nations League:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Genoa)
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Emerson Palmieri (Lyon/FRA), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta)
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea/ENG), Manuel Locatelli (Juventus), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Atalanta), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)
Forwards: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo).
Last month, Italy thrashed Lithuania 5-0 to clinch first victory since Euro 2020 triumph, extending their unbeaten run to 37 despite the back-to-back draw heading to the win. Earlier, Italy sets a new world record as they shared spoils against Switzerland in a 2022 World Cup qualifier match, extending their unbeaten run of matches to 36.
Italy’s last defeat came on September 10, 2018, in the group stage of the UEFA Nations League in 2018 against Portugal. It was followed by a draw in a friendly against Ukraine 1-1 and since then, they have won 29 matches and drawn six. The Nations League trophy, first won by Portugal, will be up for grabs in the final on 10 October in Milan.
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