Italy national under-21 football team

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Italy Under-21
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Gli Azzurrini
(The Little Blues)
AssociationItalian Football Federation
(Federazion Italia Giuoco Calcio – FIGC)
Head coachCarmine Nunziata
CaptainLorenzo Pirola
Most capsAndrea Pirlo (46)
Top scorerAlberto Gilardino (19)
First colours
Second colours
First international
U-23: Italy Italy 3–1 Austria Austria
(Varese, Italy; 1 November 1970)
U-21: Portugal Portugal 1–0 Italy Italy
(Funchal, Italy; 23 December 1976)
Biggest win
Italy Italy 7–0 Estonia Estonia
(Catanzaro, Italy; 23 March 1995)
Italy Italy 8–1 Wales Wales
(Pavia, Italy; 5 September 2003)
Italy Italy 7–0 Liechtenstein Liechtenstein
(Casarano, Italy; 6 September 2012)
San Marino San Marino 0–7 Italy Italy
(Serravale, San Marino; 16 November 2023)
Biggest defeat
Norway Norway 6–0 Italy Italy
(Stavanger, Norway; 5 June 1991)
Records for competitive
matches only.
Olympic Games
Appearances5 (first in 1992)
Best result Bronze medallist: (2004)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances22 (first in 1978)
Best resultChampions (1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004)
Medal record
Italy national under-21 football team
Medal record
Men's Football
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Athens Team

The Italy national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Italy and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation.

The team competes in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, held every two years. Italy (along with Spain) is the most successful nation in the history of the competition, with five Championships won (1992, 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2004). Italy has also been twice runner-up of the competition, in 1986 and 2013.

From 1990 to 2004 the team established near-total dominance of European Under-21 football, winning five of the seven tournaments.

Italy's Under-21s played the first match at the new Wembley Stadium, on 24 March 2007, against England Under-21s. The game resulted in a 3–3 draw, with Giampaolo Pazzini scoring all 3 goals for the Azzurrini.

Prior to the 2008 Olympic games, Italy U-21s went on to win the 2008 Toulon Tournament by beating Chile (1–0) in the final. It was the first time they had won this tournament, previously their best had been runner-up on two occasions.[1]

UEFA European Under-21 Championship[edit]

Since the under-21 competition rules insist that players must be 21 or under at the start of a two-year competition, technically it is an U-23 competition. For this reason, Italy's record in the preceding U-23 competitions is also shown.

  • 1972: Did not qualify. Finished 2nd of 3 in qualification group.
  • 1974: Losing quarter-finalists.
  • 1976: Did not qualify. Finished 2nd of 3 in qualification group.

UEFA U-21 Championship Record[edit]

Year Round
Europe 1978 Quarter-finals
Europe 1980 Quarter-finals
Europe 1982 Quarter-finals
Europe 1984 Semi-finals
Europe 1986 Runners-up
Europe 1988 Quarter-finals
Europe 1990 Semi-finals
Europe 1992 Champions
France 1994 Champions
Spain 1996 Champions
Romania 1998 Did not qualify
Slovakia 2000 Champions
Switzerland 2002 Semi-finals
Germany 2004 Champions
Portugal 2006 Group stage
Netherlands 2007 Group stage
Sweden 2009 Semi-finals
Denmark 2011 Did not qualify
Israel 2013 Runners-up
Czech Republic 2015 Group stage
Poland 2017 Semi-finals
Italy 2019 Group stage
Hungary Slovenia 2021 Quarter-finals
Romania Georgia (country) 2023 Group stage
Slovakia 2025 TBD
Total 22/24
*Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Olympics football Record[edit]

Since 1992 Olympic football changed to a U-23 event, and the European U-21 teams are technically U-23 teams. European national teams qualify for the Olympic football tournament through the UEFA European U-21 Championship.

Overage players in Olympic Games[edit]

Tournament Player 1 Player 2 Player 3
Gianluca Pagliuca (GK) Massimo Crippa (MF) Marco Branca (FW)
Did not select
Matteo Ferrari (DF) Andrea Pirlo (MF) Did not select
Tommaso Rocchi (FW) Did not select

Mediterranean Games Record[edit]

Mediterranean Games Football tournament was U-23 event in 1993 and 1997.

  • 1993: 4th place
  • 1997: Winners
  • 2001: a U20 event
  • 2005: filled with B team

Honours[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Current technical staff:[2]

Position Name
Head coach Italy Carmine Nunziata
Assistant coaches Italy Emanuele Filippini
Italy Matteo Brighi
Goalkeeping coach Italy Fabrizio Ferron
Athletic trainer Italy Vito Azzone
Match analyst Italy Marco Mannucci
Doctors Italy Daniele Mazza
Italy Vincenzo Santoriello
Physiotherapists Italy Nicola Sanna
Italy Emiliano Bozzetti
Osteopath Italy Cristiano Pompili
Head of Delegation Italy Mauro Balata
Secretary Italy Manfredi Martino

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Only official matches are listed.[3]

2023[edit]

24 March 2023 (2023-03-24) Friendly Serbia  0–2  Italy Backa Topola, Serbia
18:00
  • Mulattieri 53', 67'
Stadium: TSC Arena
27 March 2023 (2023-03-27) Friendly Italy  3–1  Ukraine Reggio Calabria, Italy
20:00 Lovato 19'
Colombo 71', 82'
Kashchuk 68' Stadium: Stadio Oreste Granillo
22 June 2023 (2023-06-22) 2023 UEFA U21 Champ. France  2–1  Italy Cluj Napoca, Romania
20:45 Report Stadium: Cluj Arena
Attendance: 11,286
Referee: Allard Lindhout (Netherlands)
25 June 2023 (2023-06-25) 2023 UEFA U21 Champ. Switzerland  2–3  Italy Cluj Napoca, Romania
18:00
Report
Stadium: Cluj Arena
Attendance: 4,339
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (Sweden)
28 June 2023 (2023-06-28) 2023 UEFA U21 Champ. Italy  0–1  Norway Cluj Napoca, Romania
20:45 Report
Stadium: Cluj Arena
Attendance: 2,347
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (Belgium)
8 September 2023 (2023-09-08) 2025 Championship qual. Latvia  0–0  Italy Jūrmala, Latvia
Report Stadium: Sloka Stadium
12 September 2023 (2023-09-12) 2025 Championship qual. Turkey  0–2  Italy Adapazari, Turkey
Report
Stadium: New Sakarya Atatürk Stadium
17 October 2023 (2023-10-17) 2025 Championship qual. Italy  2–0  Norway Bolzano, Italy
Report Stadium: Stadio Druso
16 November 2023 (2023-11-16) 2025 Championship qual. San Marino  0–7  Italy Serravalle, San Marino
Report
Stadium: San Marino Stadium
21 November 2023 (2023-11-21) 2025 Championship qual. Republic of Ireland  2–2  Italy Cork, Republic of Ireland
Report
Stadium: Turners Cross

2024[edit]

22 March 2024 (2024-03-22) 2025 Championship qual. Italy  v  Latvia Cesena, Italy
Stadium: Stadio Dino Manuzzi
26 March 2024 (2024-03-26) 2025 Championship qual. Italy  v  Turkey Ferrara, Italy
Stadium: Stadio Paolo Mazza
5 September 2024 (2024-09-05) 2025 Championship qual. Italy  v  San Marino TBD, Italy
10 September 2024 (2024-09-10) 2025 Championship qual. Norway  v  Italy TBD, Norway
15 October 2024 (2024-10-15) 2025 Championship qual. Italy  v  Republic of Ireland TBD, Italy

Players[edit]

Players born in 2002 or later are eligible for the 2025 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Players in bold have been already capped with the senior team.

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the qualifying matches against San Marino and Republic of Ireland on 16 and 21 November 2023, respectively.[4]

Caps and goals as of 21 November 2023, after the match against the Republic of Ireland.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Sebastiano Desplanches (2003-03-11) 11 March 2003 (age 20) 5 0 Italy Palermo
1GK Jacopo Sassi (2003-07-24) 24 July 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Italy Pro Vercelli
1GK Gioele Zacchi (2003-07-10) 10 July 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Italy Giana Erminio

2DF Lorenzo Pirola (captain) (2002-02-20) 20 February 2002 (age 22) 17 3 Italy Salernitana
2DF Riccardo Calafiori (2002-05-19) 19 May 2002 (age 21) 6 0 Italy Bologna
2DF Mattia Zanotti (2003-02-11) 11 February 2003 (age 21) 5 0 Switzerland St. Gallen
2DF Diego Coppola (2003-12-28) 28 December 2003 (age 20) 3 0 Italy Hellas Verona
2DF Daniele Ghilardi (2003-01-06) 6 January 2003 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Sampdoria
2DF Riccardo Turicchia (2003-02-05) 5 February 2003 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Juventus Next Gen
2DF Gabriele Guarino (2004-04-14) 14 April 2004 (age 19) 1 0 Italy Modena
2DF Tommaso Barbieri (2002-08-26) 26 August 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Italy Pisa
2DF Samuel Giovane (2003-03-28) 28 March 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Italy Ascoli

3MF Edoardo Bove (2002-05-16) 16 May 2002 (age 21) 12 0 Italy Roma
3MF Cesare Casadei (2003-01-10) 10 January 2003 (age 21) 7 0 England Chelsea
3MF Cher Ndour (2004-07-27) 27 July 2004 (age 19) 5 0 Portugal Braga
3MF Matteo Prati (2003-12-28) 28 December 2003 (age 20) 5 0 Italy Cagliari
3MF Giovanni Fabbian (2003-01-14) 14 January 2003 (age 21) 4 1 Italy Bologna
3MF Alessandro Bianco (2002-10-01) 1 October 2002 (age 21) 1 1 Italy Reggiana
3MF Jacopo Fazzini (2003-03-16) 16 March 2003 (age 20) 1 0 Italy Empoli

4FW Francesco Pio Esposito (2005-06-28) 28 June 2005 (age 18) 5 2 Italy Spezia
4FW Wilfried Gnonto (2003-11-05) 5 November 2003 (age 20) 5 5 England Leeds United
4FW Giuseppe Ambrosino (2003-09-10) 10 September 2003 (age 20) 2 0 Italy Catanzaro
4FW Cristian Volpato (2003-11-15) 15 November 2003 (age 20) 2 1 Italy Sassuolo
4FW Luca Koleosho (2004-09-15) 15 September 2004 (age 19) 1 0 England Burnley

Recent call-ups[edit]

Following are listed players called up in the previous twelve months who are still eligible to represent the under-21 team.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Filippo Rinaldi (2002-12-04) 4 December 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Italy Olbia v. Norway, 17 October 2023
GK Alessandro Sorrentino (2002-04-03) 3 April 2002 (age 21) 1 0 Italy Monza 2023 UEFA Euro U21 PRE

DF Matteo Ruggeri (2002-07-11) 11 July 2002 (age 21) 6 0 Italy Atalanta v. Norway, 17 October 2023
DF Michael Kayode (2004-07-10) 10 July 2004 (age 19) 1 0 Italy Fiorentina v. Norway, 17 October 2023
DF Giorgio Cittadini (2002-04-18) 18 April 2002 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Genoa v. Turkey, 12 September 2023
DF Destiny Udogie (2002-11-28) 28 November 2002 (age 21) 8 0 England Tottenham Hotspur v. Latvia, 8 September 2023 INJ
DF Giorgio Scalvini (2003-12-11) 11 December 2003 (age 20) 6 0 Italy Atalanta 2023 UEFA Euro U21
DF Mattia Viti (2002-01-24) 24 January 2002 (age 22) 6 0 Italy Sassuolo v. Ukraine, 27 March 2023

MF Fabio Miretti (2003-08-03) 3 August 2003 (age 20) 8 1 Italy Juventus v. San Marino, 16 November 2023 INJ
MF Simone Panada (2002-06-02) 2 June 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Italy Atalanta U23 v. Turkey, 12 September 2023
MF Franco Tongya (2002-03-13) 13 March 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Cyprus AEK Larnaca v. Turkey, 12 September 2023

FW Lorenzo Colombo (2002-03-08) 8 March 2002 (age 21) 20 4 Italy Monza v. San Marino, 16 November 2023 INJ
FW Gaetano Oristanio (2002-09-28) 28 September 2002 (age 21) 5 0 Italy Cagliari v. San Marino, 16 November 2023 INJ
FW Tommaso Baldanzi (2003-03-23) 23 March 2003 (age 20) 3 1 Italy Roma v. San Marino, 16 November 2023 INJ
FW Sebastiano Esposito (2002-07-02) 2 July 2002 (age 21) 7 0 Italy Sampdoria v. Norway, 17 October 2023
FW Marco Nasti (2003-09-17) 17 September 2003 (age 20) 2 1 Italy Bari v. Norway, 17 October 2023 PRE
FW Matteo Cancellieri (2002-02-12) 12 February 2002 (age 22) 12 4 Italy Empoli 2023 UEFA Euro U21

INJ Withdrew due to injury

Records[edit]

Players in bold are still eligible to represent the Under-21 team. Caps and goals with the Olympic team are included.

Most appearances[edit]

The following is the top 10 most capped under-21 players:[5]

Rank Player Period Caps Goals
1 Andrea Pirlo 1998–2002 46 16
2 Marco Motta 2005–2009 42 1
3 Francesco Bardi 2011–2015 37 0
4 Matteo Brighi 2000–2004 35 2
5 Daniele Bonera 2001–2004 34 0
6 Matteo Ferrari 1999–2002 33 3
7 Luca Marrone 2009–2013 32 1
Alessandro Rosina 2004–2007 32 4
9 Luca Caldirola 2010–2013 31 1
Marco Donadel 2004–2006 31 1

Top goalscorers[edit]

The following is the top 10 under-21 goalscorers:[6]

Rank Player Period Goals Caps Ratio
1 Alberto Gilardino 2000–2004 19 30 0.63
2 Andrea Pirlo 1998–2002 16 46 0.34
3 Manolo Gabbiadini 2010–2013 12 24 0.5
4 Massimo Maccarone 2000–2002 11 15 0.73
Gianluca Vialli 1983–1986 11 20 0.55
Patrick Cutrone 2017–2021 11 25 0.44
7 Cristiano Lucarelli 1996–1997 10 10 1
Robert Acquafresca 2007–2009 10 16 0.62
Christian Vieri 1992–1996 10 19 0.52
10 Gianluca Scamacca 2018–2021 9 15 0.6
Ciro Immobile 2009–2013 9 16 0.56
Andrea Belotti 2013–2015 9 18 0.5
Roberto Mancini 1982–1986 9 26 0.34
Alberto Paloschi 2008–2013 9 29 0.31

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Categories - All 4". www.channel4.com.
  2. ^ "Staff" (in Italian). FIGC. 18 March 2021.
  3. ^ "FIGC". www.figc.it. 7 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Doppia trasferta a San Marino e in Irlanda: Nunziata convoca 27 Azzurrini, prima chiamata per Barbieri". 10 November 2023.
  5. ^ "Classifica Presenze". Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (in Italian). 24 September 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Classifica Marcatori". Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (in Italian). 5 August 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2021.

External links[edit]