The road to the 2019 World Cup in France began in Salsomaggiore for the Women's National Team. 18th in the FIFA Ranking and eliminated in the group stage at the recent European Championship in the Netherlands despite beating Sweden, Italy begin again without the historic captain Melania Gabbiadini and with Milena Bertolini on the bench in place of Antonio Cabrini. Her first objective is to take Italy to the finals of the competition for the first time since 1999.
The first two matches see the Azzurre face Moldova on Friday 15th September at 20:30 CEST at the Stadio Alberto Picco before a match against Romania on Tuesday 19th September at 17:00 CEST in Cluj in Group Six which also contains Portugal and Belgium. Top spot guarantees qualification while the four best runners-up from the seven groups will enter the play-offs for the final two places.
The match against Moldova will be presented on 14th September in La Spezia. Italy are back playing in the Ligurian city two years after they beat Georgia 6-1 there in a European Championship qualifier in September 2015. At the press conference scheduled for 11:30 CEST, the Mayor of La Spezia Pierluigi Peracchini, Councilor for Sport Lorenzo Brogi, Coach Milena Bertolini, Director for the National Teams Giorgio Bottaro and Italy captain Sara Gama will all be in attendance.
Goalkeepers: Chiara Marchitelli (Brescia), Laura Giuliani (Juventus), Rosalia Pipitone (Res Roma);
Defenders: Elisa Bartoli (Fiorentina), Alia Guagni (Fiorentina), Linda Cimini Tucceri (S. Zaccaria), Cecilia Salvai (Juventus), Sara Gama (Juventus), Federica Di Criscio (Brescia), Elena Linari (Fiorentina);
Midfielders: Daniela Stracchi (Mozzanica), Aurora Galli (Juventus), Martina Rosucci (Juventus), Tatiana Bonetti (Fiorentina), Marta Carissimi (Fiorentina), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus), Manuela Giugliano (Brescia), Sandy Iannella (Sassuolo), Valentina Bergamaschi (Brescia);
Forwards: Daniela Sabatino (Brescia), Ilaria Mauro (Fiorentina), Valentina Giacinti (Brescia), Cristiana Girelli (Brescia).
Staff –Delegation Head: Barbara Facchetti; Women’s National Teams Co-ordinatorAnnarita Stallone; Coach: Milena Bertolini; Technical Assistant: Attilio Sorbi; Secretary: Elide Martini; Fitness Coach: Stefano D’Ottavio; Goalkeeping Coach: Cesare Cipelli; Match Analyst: Marco Mannucci; Doctors: Alessandro Carcangiu, Monica Fabbri and Marco Scarcia;
The Azzurre’s Group: Italy, Romania, Portugal, Moldova, Belgium
The Azzurre’s Schedule
15th September 2017: ITALY vs. Moldova (20:30 CEST, La Spezia)
19th September 2017: Romania vs. ITALY (17:00 – Cluj)
24th October 2017: ITALY vs. Romania (15:00 – Castel Di Sangro)
28th November: Portugal vs. ITALY
6th April 2018: Moldova vs. ITALY
10th April 2018: ITALY vs. Belgium
8th June 2018: ITALY vs. Portugal
4th September 2018: Belgium vs. ITALY