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]

Honours[edit]

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

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]

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  2–0  Latvia Cesena, Italy
Report Stadium: Stadio Dino Manuzzi
26 March 2024 (2024-03-26) 2025 Championship qual. Italy  1–1  Turkey Ferrara, Italy
18:15 Report Stadium: Stadio Paolo Mazza
Referee: Cesar Soto Grado (Spain)
4 June 2024 (2024-06-04) Touloune Tournament GS Italy  4–3 Japan Japan U20 Vitrolles, France
15:00
Report
Stadium: Stade Jules-Ladoumègue
Referee: Susan Corella (Ecuador)
10 June 2024 (2024-06-10) Touloune Tournament GS Italy  2–2
(4–1 p)
Panama Panama U23 Aubagne, France
18:15 Ndour 40', 90+6' Report Phillips 23'
Alvarado 26'
Stadium: Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny
Referee: Lê Thị Ly (Vietnam)
Penalties
Volpato soccer ball with check mark
Cerri soccer ball with check mark
Hasa soccer ball with check mark
Tongya soccer ball with check mark
soccer ball with red X Tello
soccer ball with check mark Orelien
soccer ball with red X Matos
12 June 2024 (2024-06-12) Touloune Tournament GS Italy  1–0 Indonesia Indonesia U20 Salon-de-Provence, France
18:15 Raimondo 38' Report Stadium: Stade d'Honneur Marcel Roustan
Referee: Odette Hamilton (Jamaica)
16 June 2024 Touloune Tournament F Italy  1–0 France France U20 Salon-de-Provence, France
14:30
Report Stadium: Stade d'Honneur Marcel Roustan
Referee: Lê Thị Ly (Vietnam)
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 2024 Toulon Tournament.[4]

Caps and goals as of 13 June 2024, after the match against France U20.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Filippo Rinaldi (2002-12-04) 4 December 2002 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Olbia
1GK Gioele Zacchi (2003-07-10) 10 July 2003 (age 20) 2 0 Italy Giana Erminio
1GK Jacopo Sassi (2003-07-24) 24 July 2003 (age 20) 1 0 Italy Pro Vercelli

2DF Mattia Zanotti (2003-02-11) 11 February 2003 (age 21) 11 0 Switzerland St. Gallen
2DF Daniele Ghilardi (2003-01-06) 6 January 2003 (age 21) 7 1 Italy Sampdoria
2DF Riccardo Turicchia (2003-02-05) 5 February 2003 (age 21) 6 0 Italy Juventus Next Gen
2DF Davide Veroli (2003-01-29) 29 January 2003 (age 21) 4 0 Italy Catanzaro
2DF Nicolò Bertola (2003-03-23) 23 March 2003 (age 21) 3 0 Italy Spezia
2DF Giovanni Bonfanti (2003-01-17) 17 January 2003 (age 21) 3 0 Italy Atalanta
2DF Christian Dalle Mura (2002-02-02) 2 February 2002 (age 22) 3 0 Italy Ternana
2DF Edoardo Pieragnolo (2003-01-03) 3 January 2003 (age 21) 3 0 Italy Reggiana
2DF Alessandro Fontanarosa (2003-02-07) 7 February 2003 (age 21) 1 0 Italy Cosenza

3MF Giovanni Fabbian (2003-01-14) 14 January 2003 (age 21) 8 3 Italy Bologna
3MF Niccolò Pisilli (2004-01-23) 23 January 2004 (age 20) 5 0 Italy Roma
3MF Franco Tongya (2002-03-13) 13 March 2002 (age 22) 5 0 Cyprus AEK Larnaca
3MF Alessandro Bianco (2002-10-01) 1 October 2002 (age 21) 4 1 Italy Reggiana
3MF Luis Hasa (2004-01-06) 6 January 2004 (age 20) 3 0 Italy Juventus Next Gen
3MF Federico Zuccon (2004-04-01) 1 April 2004 (age 20) 3 0 Italy Cosenza
3MF Giacomo Faticanti (2004-07-31) 31 July 2004 (age 19) 2 0 Italy Ternana

4FW Sebastiano Esposito (2002-07-02) 2 July 2002 (age 21) 11 0 Italy Sampdoria
4FW Cristian Volpato (2003-11-15) 15 November 2003 (age 20) 6 1 Italy Sassuolo
4FW Antonio Raimondo (2004-03-18) 18 March 2004 (age 20) 5 3 Italy Ternana
4FW Leonardo Cerri (2003-03-04) 4 March 2003 (age 21) 4 1 Italy Juventus Next Gen
4FW Seydou Fini (2006-06-02) 2 June 2006 (age 18) 4 1 Belgium Standard Liège

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 Sebastiano Desplanches (2003-03-11) 11 March 2003 (age 21) 7 0 Italy Palermo v. Turkey, 26 March 2024

DF Lorenzo Pirola (captain) (2002-02-20) 20 February 2002 (age 22) 18 3 Italy Salernitana v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
DF Riccardo Calafiori (2002-05-19) 19 May 2002 (age 22) 8 0 Italy Bologna v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
DF Matteo Ruggeri (2002-07-11) 11 July 2002 (age 21) 8 0 Italy Atalanta v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
DF Diego Coppola (2003-12-28) 28 December 2003 (age 20) 4 0 Italy Hellas Verona v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
DF Michael Kayode (2004-07-10) 10 July 2004 (age 19) 3 0 Italy Fiorentina v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
DF Gabriele Guarino (2004-04-14) 14 April 2004 (age 20) 1 0 Italy Modena v. Republic of Ireland, 21 November 2023
DF Tommaso Barbieri (2002-08-26) 26 August 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Italy Pisa v. Republic of Ireland, 21 November 2023
DF Samuel Giovane (2003-03-28) 28 March 2003 (age 21) 0 0 Italy Ascoli v. Republic of Ireland, 21 November 2023
DF Giorgio Cittadini (2002-04-18) 18 April 2002 (age 22) 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

MF Cher Ndour (2004-07-27) 27 July 2004 (age 19) 10 2 Portugal Braga v. Panama, 10 June 2024
MF Cesare Casadei (2003-01-10) 10 January 2003 (age 21) 9 1 England Chelsea v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
MF Fabio Miretti (2003-08-03) 3 August 2003 (age 20) 9 1 Italy Juventus v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
MF Matteo Prati (2003-12-28) 28 December 2003 (age 20) 7 0 Italy Cagliari v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
MF Jacopo Fazzini (2003-03-16) 16 March 2003 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Empoli v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
MF Edoardo Bove (2002-05-16) 16 May 2002 (age 22) 12 0 Italy Roma v. Latvia, 22 March 2024 INJ
MF Simone Panada (2002-06-02) 2 June 2002 (age 22) 0 0 Italy Atalanta U23 v. Turkey, 12 September 2023

FW Rachid Kouda (2002-07-25) 25 July 2002 (age 21) 1 0 Italy Spezia v. Panama, 10 June 2024
FW Lorenzo Colombo (2002-03-08) 8 March 2002 (age 22) 20 4 Italy Monza v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
FW Wilfried Gnonto (2003-11-05) 5 November 2003 (age 20) 7 5 England Leeds United v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
FW Gaetano Oristanio (2002-09-28) 28 September 2002 (age 21) 7 0 Italy Cagliari v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
FW Francesco Pio Esposito (2005-06-28) 28 June 2005 (age 18) 6 2 Italy Spezia v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
FW Giuseppe Ambrosino (2003-09-10) 10 September 2003 (age 20) 2 0 Italy Catanzaro v. Turkey, 26 March 2024
FW Tommaso Baldanzi (2003-03-23) 23 March 2003 (age 21) 3 1 Italy Roma v. Latvia, 22 March 2024 INJ
FW Luca Koleosho (2004-09-15) 15 September 2004 (age 19) 1 0 England Burnley v. Republic of Ireland, 21 November 2023
FW Marco Nasti (2003-09-17) 17 September 2003 (age 20) 2 1 Italy Bari v. Norway, 17 October 2023 PRE

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. ^ "Italia pronta per il 'Tournoi Maurice Revello': tante novità nei 26 convocati di Nunziata, esordio martedì 4 contro il Giappone". 30 May 2024.
  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]