Azzurrini set for season’s fourth friendly against Morocco. Di Biagio: “The development process is continuing”

Azzurrini set for season’s fourth friendly against Morocco. Di Biagio:

For the sixth time, the Under-21 National Team are playing in Ferrara, almost ten years since the last match at the Stadio Paolo Mazza on 5th February 2008 which was a win against the Netherlands. In five previous matches – two friendlies and three European Championship qualifiers – the Azzurrini have picked up as many wins. The Emilian city has brought fortune to the Azzurrini who will face Morocco there tomorrow at 18:30 CEST in the fourth friendly of the season.

Following on from the brilliant win over Hungary in Budapest, the Under-21s will now test themselves against an African side. “It’s certainly an interesting test because of this as we don’t have previous meetings behind us,” said Luigi Di Biagio. “We’re used to playing European sides so we’re up against a different opponent here. It will be a nice experience which does good for our development progress which we’re still at the start of even if we’re already at a good point.”

At the Sala Arengo in Ferrara’s town hall, the coach described the warm atmosphere which greeted the side upon arrival. “There’s an incredible enthusiasm alongside us, there have been a lot of displays of affection from the people who followed us in training also. Because of this, we hope to play well and entertain the fans. Even if the European Championship is still far away, this match takes us a little closer and even though it’s a friendly there will be no lack of motivation because we have the chance to try new things.

Ferrara’s Mayor Tiziano Tagliani did the honours alongside Assessor for Sport Simone Merlin, Spal Patron Simone Colombarini, Spal President Walter Mattioli and National Teams Director Giorgio Bottaro. “I want to thank the Federation for choosing Ferrara as the host city for this match,” said the Mayor. “We’re very honoured to host the Under-21s and it’s recognition of the great effort and collaboration between the council, Spal and obviously the FIGC.”

This afternoon at the Stadio Paolo Mazza at 17:30 CEST, the Azzurrini trained for the final time with a full squad after losing players to withdrawals in recent days.

Two new players are in the squad following the Hungary match. They are Spal’s Federico Bonazzoli after he returned from the Under-20 8 Nations fixture with England and Pescara’s Luca Valzania after Del Favero, Mandragora, Verde and Dickmann all dropped out.

 

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