The National Beach Soccer Team trained for the final time in Terracina before their departure for Nazaré in Portugal which will host the second stage of the Euro Beach Soccer League between Friday 7th July and Sunday 9th July. Last year, the Azzurri finished in sixth at the European Championship organised by Beach Soccer Worldwide who organise continental competitions in collaboration with FIFA.
“We want to win the stage in order to have a favourable position in the European finals,” said the coach Massimo Agostini. “In these days, we’ve worked a lot on the physical side and the boys have picked up energy which will help for the three games at the weekend.”
Italy are current sixth in the world ranking and will start at the tournament on Friday against Switzerland at 16:30 CEST. On Saturday, they face France at the same time before meeting the hosts Portugal on Sunday 9th July at 19:15 CEST.
“Switzerland and Portugal are two traditional opponents for us as happened two years ago in Espinho when they won the World Cup,” said Agostini. “Portugal will have the advantage of playing at home with three players who grew up in Nazarè. It’s true that they have some absences as Belchio won’t be there but they’re like us in trying to oversee a generational change and they can count on three of four interesting young players. France are looking to get back to where they once were. The coach Francois is working well and it’s not by chance that they beat Germany and Russia in the first stage of the Euro League to finish second in their group. We have to be careful.”
Of the ten players selected, three (Carpita, Del Duca and Remedi) didn’t take part at the World Cup in May where Italy finished fourth for the second consecutive time. “We’re carrying on with the work that bore fruit in the Bahamas,” explained the coach. “In Portugal and the stage in Germany, we want to take full points and show that we can also do great things at the Euros. I wanted Palmacci, Corosiniti and Frainetti to have a stage off to rest and so that I could evaluate the new guys in the squad and to see how they’re developing on the international stage.”
Goalkeepers: Andrea Carpita (Viareggio Beach Soccer), Simone Del Mestre (Sambenedettese Beach Soccer);
Defenders: Alfioluca Chiavaro (Catania Beach Soccer), Pietro Maria Del Duca (Terracina Beach Soccer), Dario Ramacciotti (Viareggio Beach Soccer);
Wingers: Michele Di Palma (Pisa Beach Soccer), Simone Marinai (Viareggio Beach Soccer), Alessandro Remedi (Viareggio Beach Soccer);
Forwards: Gabriele Gori (Viareggio Beach Soccer), Emmanuele Zurlo (Catania Beach Soccer).
Staff – Accompanying Director: Ferdinando Arcopinto; Coach: Massimo Agostini. Assistants: Emiliano Del Duca, Antonino Nosdeo, Paolo Larocca; Secretary: Fabio Ferappi; Dcotor : Giorgio Bruni; Physiotherapist: Giuliano Gepponi.
Schedule for the Azzurri’s games
July 7th: ITALY-Switzerland (15:30 local time, 16:30 CEST)
July 8th: ITALY-France (ore 15:30 local time, 16:30 CEST)
July 9th: ITALY-Portugal (18:15 local time, 19:15 CEST)