BLOG ITALIA
Saturday October 12 2019
Practically perfect Italy progress

Italy are a team transformed from World Cup failures to Euro 2020 perfect records, but Giancarlo Rinaldi awaits further developments.

They might have disguised themselves in green, but it did not leave us feeling blue. From one of the lowest points in the history of the Italian national team, we really could not have asked for more.

A 100% Euro 2020 qualification record - matched only by Belgium - and a place secured with three games to spare would have seemed almost unimaginable two years ago. Roberto Mancini has delivered on his promises with the same style he used to produce with the Sampdoria Number 10 on his back.

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NEWS
Saturday October 12 2019
Acerbi: 'So many emotional layers'

Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi had “so many layers to the emotions” of securing Italy’s Euro 2020 ticket at the Stadio Olimpico.

He was a relatively surprising pick to start alongside Leonardo Bonucci in the 2-0 win over Greece, maintaining the 100 per cent record in Group J.

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NEWS
Saturday October 12 2019
Ronaldo: 'Never wanted to leave Inter'

Ronaldo reveals he “never wanted to leave Inter,” but felt forced to walk away when the club backed Hector Cuper after their Scudetto collapse.

“That Inter was a fantastic team. Along with Bobo Vieri, we had Clarence Seedorf and many other talents. Unfortunately, the injuries prevented me from sharing the field with Vieri that many times,” Ronaldo said via videolink in the Festival dello Sport.

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NEWS
Saturday October 12 2019
Lazio and Fiorentina want Amrabat

Sofyan Amrabat has impressed so much at Hellas Verona that Lazio and Fiorentina are reportedly in talks for a January move.

The 23-year-old Morocco international can play in a variety of roles, as midfielder or centre-back.

Verona picked him up over the summer from Club Brugge, on loan with option to buy for €3m.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Amrabat has made such a good start to his Serie A career that he could be moving on again in January.

Lazio and Fiorentina are believed to be in negotiations for a mid-season swoop.

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NEWS
Saturday October 12 2019
Koulibaly: 'Racists hide in a crowd'

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly told L’Equipe magazine about his experiences of racism. “They’re thugs and would never dare make those noises to my face.”

The Senegal international centre-back was born in France to Senegalese parents and described “swimming in diversity from birth” at Saint-Die-des-Vosges with friends of varied nationalities.

“There might’ve been a racist tinge to some of the comments at FC Metz and Genk, but I didn’t have a single problem of genuine racism.

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NEWS
Saturday October 12 2019
Acerbi refused to leave children's hospital

The Italy squad visited a children’s hospital in Rome on Thursday and it has been revealed Francesco Acerbi went the extra mile.

The Nazionale greeted kids at the Bambin Gesù clinic and brought gifts, along with tickets for staff and family members of the little patients to attend tonight’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Greece.

Alessandro Iacopino, the Press officer for the hospital, has now revealed Lazio defender Acerbi went above and beyond the call of duty.

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Saturday October 12 2019
Probable line-ups: Italy v Greece

Italy are expected to use players from nine different clubs in their starting XI against Greece, as a victory would secure Euro 2020 qualification.

It kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome tonight at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri have so far won all six of their games in Group J and a seventh would be enough to book their spot at the tournament next summer.

Several players are unavailable, including Giorgio Chiellini, Stefano Sensi, Alessandro Florenzi, Emerson Palmieri and Lorenzo Pellegrini.

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BLOG ITALIA
Friday October 11 2019
One or two up for Italy?

While Italy continue to shuffle through No 9s ahead of Euro 2020, Football Italia's Chief Correspondent Richard Hall argues there is also a case for a front two...

There is always debate in Italy when it comes to the national team as there is so much coverage all over the peninsula. This has certainly changed since Giampiero Ventura’s failed attempt to reach the World Cup, which led the Gazzetta dello Sport to capture the public mood with the headline ‘Apocalypse’. The conversations are now often based on whether Italy have the quality, but things are changing. Now, with the European Championship on the horizon, questions like ‘who should start as the main striker?’ are becoming more normal again.

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Friday October 11 2019
Zeman: This Roma belongs to no-one!

Zdenek Zeman has claimed that this Roma side belongs to ‘no-one’ and also hit out at Lazio for their lack of ambition.

Roma lost Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi over the summer, and Zeman feels his former club no long have an identity, pointing the figure at “whereabouts unknown” President James Pallotta. 

“I think they will [return], but there must be the right conditions,” he told Il Messaggero.

“Francesco had to say ‘enough’ because they only used him for advertising purposes.

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Thursday October 10 2019
Immobile favourite for Italy start

Ciro Immobile, Federico Bernardeschi and Francesco Acerbi are expected to start for Italy against Greece in a Euro 2020 qualifier.

It kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Roberto Mancini has numerous absentees, with the likes of Alessandro Florenzi, Emerson Palmieri, Stefano Sensi and Lorenzo Pellegrini out injured.

According to the latest reports, there are some doubts still in every area of the team.

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