The Beach Soccer National Team’s adventure at the FIFA World Cup finals between 27th April and 7th May in the Bahamas is set to begin. The coach Massimo Agostini has named twelve players for the squad which will fly to Nassau on Wednesday 19th April where Italy will be competing in the finals for the seventh time from nine editions (the best result was a second-place finish in 2008).
Two years ago in Espinho Portugal, Italy finished fourth after going extremely close to reaching the final as Paolo Palmacci’s penalty miss in the semi-final against Tahiti proved fatal. The squad is the same as the one from 2015 with the addition of defender Alfio Chiavaro and Italy have everything in place to go far with two of the usual big names in Beach Soccer of Russia and Spain not there.
The Azzurri will make their debut on Thursday 27th April at 18:30 local time against Nigeria. They then face Iran on 29th April at 15:30 local time and Mexico on 1st May at 15:30 local time. The top two from each of the four groups will qualify for the quarter-finals.
World Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Simone Del Mestre (Cjarlins Muzzane), Stefano Spada (Ribelle Calcio);
Defenders: Alfio Chiavaro (Palazzolo), Matteo Marrucci (Pisa Beach Soccer), Dario Ramacciotti;
Wingers: Francesco Corosiniti (Real Cerva), Michele Di Palma (Pisa Beach Soccer), Alessio Frainetti, Simone Marinai (Viareggio Beach Soccer), Paolo Palmacci (Terracina Beach Soccer);
Forwards: Gabriele Gori (Castelnuovo Garfagnana), Emmanuele Zurlo (Catania Beach Soccer).
Staff – Delegation head: Alberto Mambelli; Accompanying director: Ferdinando Arcopinto; Coaches: Massimo Agostini, Emiliano Del Duca, Antonino Nosdeo, Paolo Larocca; Secretary: Fabio Ferappi; Doctors: Alvise Clarioni and Giorgio Bruni; Physiotherapist: Giuliano Gepponi.
World Cup Groups
Group A: Bahamas, Switzerland, Ecuador, Senegal
Group B: Nigeria, ITALY, Iran, Mexico
Group C: United Arab Emirates, Paraguay, Portugal, Panama
Group D: Brazil, Tahiti, Japan, Poland
27th April: ITALY vs. Nigeria
29th April: ITALY vs, Iran
1st May: ITALY vs. Mexico
4th May: Quarter-finals
6th May: Semi-finals
7th May: Final