BLOG ITALIA
Monday October 14 2019
Talent not enough for Azzurrini

Football Italia’s Chief Correspondent Richard Hall looks at the new era for the Italian U21 side, but seemingly with the same old problems.

After what seemed like constant disappointment, there is a new feeling of hope with Italy’s U21 team. There has never been any doubt around the talent at the Coach’s disposal, but that hasn’t stopped the team performing well below the levels expected.

Exiting at the group stage in a European Championship they were hosting was utterly unacceptable, so Gigi Di Biagio had to go. Now they have a new man in charge and so far results have been mixed ahead of today’s trip to Armenia.

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Saturday July 13 2019
U21: Nicolato opens new era

New Italy Under-21 Coach Paolo Nicolato insists there will be “the utmost collaboration” with Roberto Mancini to prepare players for the Nazionale.

Gigi Di Biagio left after the desperately disappointing European Under-21 Championships, which saw hosts Italy crash out in the group stage after a defeat to Poland.

Nicolato took the Azzurrini to the Under-20 World Cup semi-finals, losing to eventual trophy winners Ukraine.

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Sunday June 30 2019
U21 Euro: Fabian wins it for Spain

Spain have won the 2019 European U21 Championships, beating holders Germany 2-1 in the Final, with Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz on target and named Player of the Tournament.

La Rojita gained revenge for the 2017 Final and have now equalled Italy as the most successful nation in the tournament’s history with five trophies.

Fabian Ruiz opened the scoring with a left-foot scorcher from distance, while Dani Olmo doubled their tally after the break.

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Sunday June 30 2019
Ceferin: 'Never again that Italy exit'

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin admits the next European U21 Championship will have 16 teams to avoid the situation that saw Italy eliminated.

The tournament final is tonight between Germany and Spain, but there was controversy after the hosts crashed out.

The current format has three groups of four teams, with only the group winners and best runner-up going through to the semi-finals.

As Italy were in Group A, France and Romania knew they could draw two days later and both qualify at the expense of Italy.

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Sunday June 30 2019
Fabian Ruiz: 'Dream of Napoli and Spain wins'

Fabian Ruiz “dreams of winning the Scudetto” with Napoli as well as the U21 European Championship tonight against Germany.

Spain take on the holders Germany tonight in the U21 European Championship Final at the Dacia Arena in Udine.

The 23-year-old has been putting in some impressive performances for the Spanish during their run to the final, while he also made his debut for the senior Spain team against the Faroe Islands at the start of the month.

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Sunday June 30 2019
Milan seek Morata-style Ceballos move

Milan hope Real Madrid will accept a two-year loan for Dani Ceballos, with option and counter-option, similar to the one that took Alvaro Morata to Juventus.

According to Sportmediaset, the Rossoneri are negotiating to ensure they can rely on the player for at least two seasons, with Real Madrid also given guarantees over his future.

The format of the deal would be a two-year loan worth €5-8m with option to buy in 2021 for €32-35m.

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Saturday June 29 2019
Sampdoria call Croatian Brekalo

Sampdoria are preparing a bid for Wolfsburg and Croatia international winger Josip Brekalo, who is rated at least €10m.

According to Sportitalia, the Blucerchiati have set their sights firmly on the 21-year-old, who already has six senior caps for his country.

Brekalo plays primarily as an attack-minded left-sided winger and was purchased from Dinamo Zagreb for €7m in 2016.

He contributed three goals and four assists in 27 games this season, but made a strong impression during the European U21 Championship.

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Wednesday June 26 2019
Gravina: Di Biagio no failure, but...

FIGC chief Gabriele Gravina agrees Luigi Di Biagio was ‘not a failure’ but admits Italy’s European Under-21 Championship exit is ‘an ugly stain on our colours’.

Di Biagio resigned as the Azzurrini’s CT on Tuesday after they crashed out of the U21 Euros at the group stage but defended his reign at a Press conference

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Tuesday June 25 2019
Di Biagio: I'm not a failure

Luigi Di Biagio insists he did not fail Italy’s Under-21 team after stepping down. “If Romania had won yesterday, you’d have all told me that I was the best...”

Di Biagio announced his resignation at a Press conference on Tuesday morning, but the CT also took the opportunity to defend his record.

“We must separate our results of the last few years from what happened at this European Championship,” he explained.

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Monday June 24 2019
Italy out of U21 Euros

Italy are out of the European Under-21 Championship after France and Romania drew 0-0 in their final group game on Monday.

Italy finished Group A on six points, behind Spain in their three-way record on goal difference with Poland.

It meant their only chance of reaching the semi-finals was to be the best runners-up out of the three pools.

However, France and Romania – both aware that they would go through with a draw – predictably played out a damp squib.

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