Sunday June 2 2013
Caldirola: 'Azzurrini can win'

Italy are in Israel for the European Under-21 Championship and captain Luca Caldirola believes they can win a record sixth title.

The Azzurrini made the journey on Saturday and their first match will be against England on Wednesday June 5.

“Our togetherness is definitely a factor that gives us that crucial motivation to achieve our goals,” Caldirola told

“Everybody is working hard ahead of this tournament. We play England in the first match and I view this as our most important game because it is vital to start in the best possible manner.”

The centre-back is a product of the Inter youth academy, but spent this season on loan with Brescia in Serie B.

“It is always exciting to be wearing the captain’s armband. It is a huge responsibility but also an honour and something that makes me very happy.”

The Azzurrini are already the most successful nation in the history of the European Under-21 Championships, winning five titles.

They are in Group A with England, Norway and hosts Israel.

“Every team involved at this stage is strong and all of them have what it takes to win the tournament,” continued the 22-year-old.

“Spain and Germany are favourites on paper, but you cannot ignore Norway, who beat France in the play-offs.”

Italy Under-21 squad:

Gk: 1 Bardi (Novara), 12 Colombi (Modena), 22 Leali (Virtus Lanciano);
D: 13 Bianchetti (Hellas Verona), 3 Biraghi (Cittadella), 6 Caldirola (Brescia), 5 Capuano (Pescara), 23 Crimi (Grosseto), 2 Donati (Grosseto), 19 Regini (Empoli);
M: 16 Bertolacci (Genoa), 7 Florenzi (Roma), 10 L Insigne (Napoli), 8 Marrone (Juventus), 21 Rossi (Brescia), 15 Sansone (Parma), 18 Saponara (Empoli), 4 Verratti (PSG);
F: 20 Borini (Liverpool), 14 Destro (Roma), 11 Gabbiadini (Bologna), 9 Immobile (Genoa), 17 Paloschi (Chievo)