National team, Italy from nations: the 23 called up by Mancini
Locatelli is absent from the 23 players set to compete in the finals in the Netherlands, with few Juventus fans and no AC Milan fans
Attack on the Nations with an International. Attacking the Nations with five Nerazzurri returning from the Champions League final in Istanbul. Four of them, Acerbi, Bastoni, Dimarco and Barella, compete for a starting jersey. One, the most recent signing (but it would be better to say “returned”), or Darmian, will be useful as a substitute for Di Lorenzo but also on the other wing and in the event of a recourse to a three-man defense.
Roberto Mancini has finalized the list of 23 players selected for the Dutch “Final Four”: Tonali and Scalvini went to the Under-21s along with Nicolato, the partial surprise is the “cut” of Locatelli, already featured in the European qualifiers against England and Malta was missing. Juventus’ recent performances have not convinced Mancini.
No AC Milan
A national mosaic. Inter was the most represented (5), followed by Napoli and Roma (3). Just two Juventus players, Bonucci and Chiesa, and no AC Milan fans, with Tonali among the youngsters who could secure a spot at the 2024 Olympics via the European Championship. Berardi and Pessina were injured at the last minute. Also Gatti, Zaccagni, Baschirotto, Buongiorno and Florenzi, who are taking part in the internship in Sardinia. If we start again from 4-3-3, we can guess this Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Sticks, Dimarco; Stretcher, Jorginho, Verratti; Church Building/Retegui, Pellegrini. We are at the end of the season, it will be a question of remaining energy.
Waiting for Retegui
Most awaited, of course, is Italian-Argentinian striker Retegui after his two goals against England and Malta in March: like Inter fans, he won’t be included in the group until 11 or 12 June. But now there’s also Immobile and Gnonto, who can be used in all attacking roles and has remained intact for the unders despite coming of age. Mancini confirmed Frattesi’s return after a good season at Sassuolo, recovering from Spinazzola and putting his trust in Zaniolo, from whom he expects important signs of growth.
We are in the final stages of Nations, just like we were two years ago. And history repeats itself: in the semi-finals, Spain are back, fresh from the coaching change, from Luis Enrique to De la Fuente. In 2021 the Spaniards won 2-1 in Milan and eliminated us as fresh European champions. It will be played in Enschede on June 15th. To give the guests an extra day’s rest, Holland, another poor Qatar 2022 exit, meets Croatia in Rotterdam the day before: it could be Modric’s last game with the national team. Final on Sunday 18 again in Rotterdam, final for third place in Enschede. This is the third edition: in the honors list of Portugal (2019) and France (2021). From next time, with the “Final Four” in 2025, the top two of the groups will qualify and in March there will be the quarter-finals.
After missing two world championships in a row, it would be important to win something again. A blow to morale and also points for the Fifa rankings, where we are eighth for the time being (Holland is sixth, Croatia seventh and Spain tenth). In September, qualifying for Euro 2024 starts again: the defeat in Naples against England forces us to aim for second place to avoid being forced into the cursed play-offs.
Sardinia and Coverciano
Italy has been in Santa Margherita di Pula (Cagliari) for an internship since yesterday. It will remain in place until June 9th. A day and a half of rest, then Sunday 11th meeting in Coverciano. The Interisti and Retegui arrive on June 12th
On the 14th departure for Enschede, where on the 15th the semi-finals of the nations will take place against Spain. Finals for first and third place on June 18th
Donnarumma (PSG), Meret (Naples), Vicar (Empoli)
Di Lorenzo (Naples), Bonucci (Juve), Toloi (Atalanta), Acerbi, Bastoni, Dimarco, Darmian (Inter), Spinazzola (Roma)
Barella (Inter), Frattesi (Sassuolo), Jorginho (Arsenal), Cristante, Pellegrini (Roma), Verratti (PSG), Zaniolo (Galatasaray)
Chiesa (Juve), Retegui (Tigres), Immobile (Lazio), Raspadori (Naples), Gnonto (Leeds)
June 6 – 2:16 p.m
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