The day has arrived when the Women’s National Team kick off at the European Championship with the opening match at 18:00 CEST at Rotterdam’s Sparta Stadium with the match live on Eurosport 1. The aim is to repeat the success of seven months ago in Brazil at the Manaus Tournament when the Azzurre won 3-0 with goals from Gama, Bergamaschi and Gabbiadini. “We have to forget about that win,” said the coach Antonio Cabrini. “We know well that it won’t be an easy game. To be at the finals of a European Championship is a great result for Italian women’s football, we’re here to give our all and go for it.”
Melania Gabbiadini knows how important it is to start on the right foot and see that the hard work during four weeks of training at Coverciano is rewarded. “We’ll show to everyone what we can do,” said the Azzurre’s captain. “We have clear heads and we’ve prepared well for this match. Russia are solid, apart from physicality their grittiness is a strength but we’ve studied them in order to make as few mistakes as possible.”
At 20:45 CEST, the other two sides in Group B will meet with Germany and Sweden facing off in Breda. They meet once more a year after the final at the Rio Olympics where Germany won 2-1. Yesterday, the tournament began with Group A fixtures as the Dutch hosts beat Norway 1-0 and Denmark beat Belgium by the same scoreline.
Final Squad of 23
Goalkeepers: Laura Giuliani (Köln), Chiara Marchitelli (Brescia), Katja Schroffenegger (Unterland Damen);
Defenders: Elisa Bartoli (Fiorentina), Sara Gama (Brescia), Federica Di Criscio (AGSM Verona), Elena Linari (Fiorentina), Cecilia Salvai (Brescia), Linda Tucceri Cimini (S. Zaccaria);
Midfielders: Barbara Bonansea (Brescia), Marta Carissimi (Fiorentina), Valentina Cernoia (Brescia), Laura Fusetti (Como 2000), Aurora Galli (AGSM Verona), Manuela Giugliano (AGSM Verona), Alia Guagni (Fiorentina), Sandy Iannella (Cuneo), Martina Rosucci (Brescia), Daniela Stracchi (Mozzanica);
Forwards: Melania Gabbiadini (Verona), Cristiana Girelli (Brescia), Ilaria Mauro (Fiorentina), Daniela Sabatino (Brescia).
Staff – Delegation Head: Barbara Facchetti; National Teams Director Giorgio Bottaro; Women’s Teams Coordinator: Annarita Stallone; Coach: Antonio Cabrini; Assistant: Rosario Amendola; Secretary: Elide Martini; Fitness Coach Director: Stefano D’Ottavio; Fitness Coaches: William Botter, Franco Olivieri; Goalkeeping Coach: Cesare Cipelli; Docotrs: Monica Fabbri, Alessandro Carcangiu, Matteo Guzzini; Physiotherapists: Roberto Cardarelli, Maurizio D’Angelo, Jacopo Pasini, Daniele Frosoni; Nutritionist: Natale Gentile; Video Analyst: Filippo Lorenzon.
European Championship Group B Fixtures (All times CEST)
Monday 17th July
ITALY vs. Russia (18:00 – Sparta Stadium, Rotterdam)
Germany vs. Sweden (20:45 – Rat Verlegh, Breda)
Friday 21st July
Sweden vs. Russia (18:00 – De Adelaarshorst, Deventer)
Germany vs. ITALY (20:45 – Stadio Willem II, Tilburg)
Tuesday 25th July
Sweden vs. ITALY (20:45 – Stadio Vijverberg, Doetinchem)
Russia vs. Germany (20:45 – Galgenwaard, Utrecht)