After failing to make the World Cup, Italy have been placed with Poland and Portugal in the UEFA Nations League.
Italy UEFA Nations League Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Portugal 1 vs Italy 0
Portugal – 1 Rui Patrício, 2 Cavaco Cancelo, 3 Pepe, 6 Rúben Dias, 19 Mário Rui, 20 Afonso Fernandes, 13 Neves, 14 William Carvalho, 11 Bernardo Silva, 9 André Silva, 7 Tué Na Bangna
Italy – 22 Donnarumma, 15 Lazzari, 13 Caldara, 6 Romagnoli, 4 Criscito, 14 Chiesa, 23 Cristante, 5 Jorginho, 8 Bonaventura, 7 Zaza, 17 Immobile
Andre Silva scored the only goal of the game to give the Portuguese side a 1-0 victory.
Italy 1 vs Poland 1
Italy: 22 Donnarumma, 21 Zappacosta, 19 Bonucci, 3 Chiellini, 15 Biraghi, 18 Gagliardini, 5 Jorginho, 16 Pellegrini, 20 Bernardeschi, 9 Balotelli, 10 Insigne
Poland: 22 Fabianski, 18 Bereszynski, 15 Glik, 5 Bednarek, 3 Reca, 21 Kurzawa, 10 Krychowiak, 11 Klich, 16 Blaszczykowski, 20 Zielinski, 9 Lewandowski
Piotr Zielinski and Jorginho got on the scoresheet to cancel each other out.
Yes they failed to make the 2018 World Cup in Russia which was one of the darkest moments in the history of Italian football, however there seems to be a more positive outlook on things to come at the moment. There is the sense that with the probable omission of Danielle De Rossi from the squad, the majority of the old guard have gone. Sure Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci still remain but in terms of most other positions, youngsters are coming in.
Additionally, although it has no effect on the italian national team, the move of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus has seemed to give all of Italian football the boost it badly needed so we would not be surprised to see Italy put on some quality performances against their UEFA Nations League group opponents, Portugal and Poland.
Roberto Mancini, age 53, (27.11.1964)
The former Internazionale and Manchester City manager takes control of Italy for the upcoming tournament, after the sacking of Gian Piero Ventura due to World Cup failure.
Italy UEFA Nations League Group
Italy UEFA Nations League Fixtures
Italy UEFA Nations League Squad
Roberto Mancini has put some new faces into his UEFA Nations League squad:
GOALKEEPERS: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Mattia Perin (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Turin).
DEFENDERS: Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Manuel Lazzari (Spal), Leonardo Bonucci, Daniele Rugani and Giorgio Chiellini (all three Juventus), Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia Caldara (both Milan), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Davide Zappacosta and Emerson Palmieri (both Chelsea).
MIDFIELDERS: Nicolò Barella (Cagliari), Marco Benassi (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicolò Zaniolo (all three Roma), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Jorginho (Chelsea).
FORWARDS: Mario Balotelli (Nice), Simone Zaza and Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Pietro Pellegri (Monaco).