UEFA Nations League: Azzurri all set for debut tonight at 20:45 CEST!

UEFA Nations League: Azzurri all set for debut tonight at 20:45 CEST!

Italy go again against Poland and at a special venue: the Stadio Dall’Ara. It’s where Roberto Mancini made his Serie A debut 37 years ago and he played there in 1986 for the Azzurri before his competitive debut as Italy Head Coach tomorrow. “When I made my debut I was very emotional, I was 16 and it was difficult to make my debut at that age but tomorrow will also be a special emotion.” 

Mancini didn’t offer an insight into the starting line-up saying that “It doesn’t matter.” His focus is elsewhere. “I have a team in mind but I want to tell the players of my decisions. It’s right to go again with the foundations created in June when we did quite well even if the players were tired at the end of the season. Attitude is what counts, I want a positive side. It’s better to have three points to play for rather than it being a friendly, it could especially help us with our young players. The standard increases when there’s a result on the line. Then, we’re in a group with two teams who are better than us at the moment and I think it’s a good thing, it will be a stimulus to do well.” 

Mancini has clear ideas on what he wants to see from Italy: “We need to play to attack and take risks, taking some risks and we hope to do so as quickly as possible. This is the mentality that I want. We don’t have time to lose, even it’s not simple. There are some problems but that’s fine. This is a tournament that we can achieve something in it.”

The most recent meeting was on 11 November 2011 when Italy won 2-0 in Wroclaw. The Azzurri haven’t played in Bologna since 17 November 2015 when they drew 2-2 with Romania and they have won 15 times, drawn twice and lost three times there. 


Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Mattia Perin (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino);

Defenders: Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Mattia Caldara (Milan), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Emerson Palmieri Dos Santos (Chelsea), Manuel Lazzari (Spal), Alessio Romagnoli (Milan), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea);

Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Cagliari), Marco Benassi (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Frello Filho Jorge Luiz Jorginho (Chelsea), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma);

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Nizza), Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Pietro Pellegri (Monaco), Simone Zaza (Torino).

Staff – Head Coach: Roberto Mancini; Team Manager: Gabriele Oriali; Assistant Coach: Alberico Evani, Angelo Adamo Gregucci, Giulio Nuciari, Fausto Salsano, Massimo Battara; Fitness Coaches: Claudio Donatelli and Andrea Scanavino; Match Analyst: Antonio Gagliardi; Doctors: Andrea Ferretti and Carmine Costabile; Physiotherapist: Maurizio Fagorzi, Emanuele Randelli, Fabrizio Scalzi, Luca Lascialfari; Osteopath: Walter Marinelli; Nutritionist: Matteo Pincella. 


The National Team’s schedule

Thursday 6 September

10.30 – Training (first 15 minutes open to the press)

14.30 – Poland’s press conference (Coach and 1 player – Ata Hotel Bologna)

17:00 – Transfer from Florence to Bologna

18.30 – Walk Around (Stadio Dall’Ara)

18.45 – Italy’s press conference (Coach and one player)

19.30 – Poland’s training session (Stadio Dall’Ara -first 15 minutes open ot the press)

Friday 7 September

20.45 – ITALY vs. Poland (UNL, matchday one– Stadio Dall’Ara)

Saturday 8 September

17 – Training (closed door at Casteldebole)

Sunday 9 September

11:00 – Training (first 15 minutes open to the press)

17:00 – Flight Bologna-Lisbon

19.30 – Walk around Estadio da Sport Lisboa e Benfica

20:00 – Italy press conference (Coach and one player – Estadio da Sport Lisboa e Benfica)

Monday 10 September

20.45 – Portugal vs. ITALY (UNL, matchday two– Estadio da Sport Lisboa e Benfica)

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