Milena Bertolini’s reign as coach of the National Women’s Team is almost about to begin. The new Azzurre tactician will make her debut during two upcoming World Cup qualifiers, as her side seek to advance to France 2019. They will firstly take on Moldova in La Spezia on Friday 15th September (20:30 CEST) at the Stadio Alberto Picco, while their second game will be against Romania in Cluj in Tuesday 19th September (17:00 CEST). It was also confirmed today that the home fixture against Romania will be played on October 24th at the Stadio Teofilo Patini in Castel di Sangro.
This will begin a new cycle for Italy, who currently occupy 18th place in the FIFA Rankings and despite an impressive win over Sweden, were eliminated at the group stage during the most recent European Championship in the Netherlands. Now placed in Group 6 for qualifying alongside Portugal and Belgium, the National Women’s Team will have to finish first should they aim to progress directly to the final competition. Otherwise, the four best second placed sides from the seven groups will take part in play-offs to see who obtains the two final spots in France.
As for Bertolini’s 23-strong squad, there is a new face following the arrival of Res Roma goalkeeper Rosalia Pipitone, while 19-year-old Fiorentina defender Alice Tortelli has been withdrawn. Brescia’s Federica Di Criscio has be called up as her replacement. The Azzurre’s training camp is scheduled for Sunday 10th September in Salsomaggiore, while from the 11th onwards the team will begin their preparations for the upcoming match in La Spezia. The city will host Italy for the first time since their 6-1 success two years ago, when Italy beat Georgia during their European Championship qualifier in September 2015.
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 – Head of Delegation: Barbara Facchetti; Coordinator of the National Women’s Teams : Annarita Stallone; Coach: Milena Bertolini; Assistant Coach: Attilio Sorbi; Secretary: Elide Martini; Fitness Coach: Stefano D’Ottavio; Goalkeeping Coach: Cesare Cipelli; Doctors: Alessandro Carcangiu, Monica Fabbri and Marco Scarcia.