Di Biagio calls up Pezzella in place of the injured Murru

Di Biagio calls up Pezzella in place of the injured Murru

The Cagliari defender Nicola Murru is no longer in the 23-man squad for the Under-21 European Championship in Poland. The player has returned home after picking up an injury to his right thigh in training and Luigi Di Biagio has replaced him with Palermo’s Giuseppe Pezzella according to UEFA regulations. He was part of the Under-20 squad which recently finished third in South Korea at the World Cup and he will join up with his teammates this evening. The Under-21 side will leave for Krakow today with the city being the base for the Azzurrini and it’s also where they will kick off their campaign against Denmark at 20:45 CEST at Krakow Stadium.

The squad’s official photo was taken yesterday morning, with FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio and CEO Michele Uva both wishing them good luck. Following the arrival of five players yesterday (Donnarumma, Conti, Pellegrini, Gagliardini and Bernardeschi), Luigi Di Biagio now has a full squad available. The Italian quintet had previously been called up by Gian Piero Ventura for Italy’s recent matches against Uruguay and Liechtenstein.

“We have a strong side,” said Tavecchio. “We have put together the best squad possible for the European Championship. Other teams have also made progress and it’s not a small thing to take them on. Obviously we are going with a desire to win, although our minimum goal is the semi-finals. The final is the primary objective.”

For the official photo, the Azzurrini wore the official PUMA kits and the formalwear designed by Ermanno Scervino who also supply the senior team. It is a slim-fit blue outfit with stretch wool, a three-button jacket and non-pleat trousers. The outfit is finished by a white shirt with a blue silk ottoman tie with a small Italian flag.

Coach Di Biagio is already firmly focused on the upcoming match against Denmark: “You cannot afford to slip up in the first game,” he said. “Otherwise you risk being eliminated at the first stage. We need to win our opening match.” The squad as a whole is full of talent and also fairly experienced. Despite their young age, the 23 Azzurrini have collectively racked up almost 1000 Serie A appearances between them: “It is a story that started seven or eight years ago,” Di Biagio added. “The main aim has been to relaunch Italian football and I believe that we have achieved this goal. Winning the European Championship would be the crowning moment following all the hard work that we have put in, from Under-15 level to the Under-21s.”

23-Man squad for Under-21 European Championship
Goalkeepers: 17 Alessio Cragno (Benevento); 1 Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan); 19 Simone Scuffet (Udinese);
Defenders: 3 Antonio Barreca (Torino); 14 Davide Biraschi (Genoa); 2 Davide Calabria (Milan);
13 Mattia Caldara (Atalanta); 12 Andrea Conti (Atalanta); 22 Alex Ferrari (Verona); 23 Pezzella (Palermo); 4 Daniele Rugani (Juventus);
Midfielders: 15 Marco Benassi (Torino); 5 Danilo Cataldi (Genoa); 18 Roberto Gagliardini (Inter); 8 Alberto Grassi (Atalanta); 21 Manuel Locatelli (Milan); 6 Lorenzo Pellegrini (Sassuolo);
Forwards: 7 Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo); 10 Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina); 9 Alberto Cerri (Pescara); 20 Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina);16 Luca Garritano (Cesena); 11 Andrea Petagna (Atalanta).
 
Staff: Delegation Head: Gabriele Oriali; Coach: Luigi Di Biagio; Assistant Coach: Carmine Nunziata; Assistant Coach: Daniele Franceschini; Secretary: Emiliano Cozzi; Goalkeeping Coach: Antonio Chimenti; Fitness Coaches: Vito Azzone and Luca Coppari; Match Analyst: Filippo Lorenzon; Doctors: Angelo De Carli and Luca Gatteschi; Nutritionist Cristian Petri; Physiotherapist: Enzo Paolini, Guido Mauro Ferrini and Maurizio Fagorzi.

Under-21 National Team’s full schedule

Thursday 15th June

h. 11.00 flight departure from Rome to Krakow, before then transferring to Hotel ‘Q-Plus’ in Krakow.

h. 17.00 training at TG Wisla Krakow (closed door)

Friday 16th June

h. 13.15 meeting the media at the Hotel ‘Q-Plus’ – Krakow (player)

h. 16.30 training at TG Wisla Krakow (closed door)

Saturday 17th June

h. 17.30 press conference at the “Krakow Stadium”

h. 18.00 MD-1 training session at the “Krakow Stadium”

Sunday 18th June

h. 10.30 training at TG Wisla Krakow  (closed door)

h.  20.45 DENMARK vs. ITALY “Krakow Stadium” post match press conferences to follow after the match

Monday 19th June

h. 11.00  training at TG Wisla Krakow  (open to the public)

h. 13.30  meeting the media at the ‘Hotel ‘Q-Plus’ – Krakow (player)

Tuesday 20th June

h. 17.00 press conference at the “Tychy Stadium”

h. 18.00 MD-1 training session at the “Tychy Stadium”

Wednesday 21st June

h. 18.00 CZECH REPUBLIC vs. ITALY  “Tychy Stadium” post match press conferences to follow after the match

Thursday 22nd June

h. 11.00 training at TG Wisla Krakow (closed door)

h. 13.30 meeting the media (player)

Friday 23rd June

h. 17.30 press conference at the “Krakow Stadium”

h..18.00 MD-1 training session at the “Krakow Stadium”

Saturday 24th June

h. 10.30 training at TG Wisla Krakow (closed door)

h. 20.45 ITALY vs. GERMANY  “Krakow Stadium” post match press conferences to follow after the match

Group C schedule for Under-21 side at the European Championship  

Matchday One (18th June)

Germany vs. Czech Republic (18:00 CEST – Tychy)

ITALY vs. Denmark (20.45 – Krakow)

Matchday Two (21st June)

Czech Republic vs. ITALY (18:00  – Tychy)

Denmark vs. Germany (20.45 – Krakow)

Matchday Three (24th June)

Czech Republic vs. Denmark (20.45 – Tychy)

ITALY vs. Germany (20.45 – Krakow)

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