Tuesday April 2 2019
Di Biagio: Toughest Euros ever

Luigi Di Biagio believes this summer’s European Under-21 Championship will be ‘toughest ever’ but backs Italy’s ‘big names’ to guide them to glory.

A star-studded cast is set to represent Di Biagio’s Azzurrini on home soil, with the likes of Federico Chiesa, Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Pellegrini free to take part, as well as recent Italy and Juventus hero Moise Kean.

“I have the opportunity to call up all the big names in the national team. I’m on the same wavelength as Mancini,” Di Biagio told Il Mattino.

“At a European Championship, there are 5-6 teams up for the trophy so you can be grouped with at least one of them.

“It says a lot about the level of the tournament we’re going to play in. I think it’ll be the toughest European Championship ever.

“However, it’s beautiful this way: it’ll be more gratifying. I don’t see it as a Euro U21, but rather as a Euro A2.”

The former Inter and Roma midfielder then passed judgment on some of his Napoli contingent, given he was talking to a Neapolitan newspaper.

“Meret’s a very good player. He’s getting back to his best after some physical problems,” he added.

“That’s why he’ll participate at the European Under-21 Championship, and we hope he will go on like this for a long time.

“I know Luperto’s qualities. He’s an exceptional lad, but I make an appeal to Ancelotti: play him more so he makes it harder for me to choose my squad.”