Nicolo Zaniolo Called up by Roberto Mancini for Euro 2020 Qualifiers

Nicolo Zaniolo has been able to emerge as a key player for Roma in the 2018-19 campaign. The 19-year-old was first spotted with Virtus Entella in 2016. From there, he started making a lot of impression amongst the top clubs and this led to the move to Inter Milan in 2017. However, the decision to switch to San Siro was not fruitful for the player, who do not make an appearance with the Nerazzurri and ended up leaving the club just after a year. Roma grabbed him for around €4.5 million and the faith in the player also made them insert a 25% resell clause.

Since his debut for the team in the loss against Real Madrid back in September,Zaniolo has been able to come a long way. The 19-year-old has now been able to get a spot in the Euro 2020 qualifiers for the Italian national team. While Roberto Mancini has decided to go with this young asset, Balotelli was left out of the squad completely. It should be noted that Zaniolo is not been called up for the national team action for the first time, as he was included in the squad even back in September. However, the midfielder failed to make an appearance in the games against Finland and Liechtenstein.
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Fabio Quagliarella Recalled Back to the National Team for Euro 2020 Qualifiers

Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella has been a player reborn in the last few months, as he has been scoring goals for fun. Interestingly, the striker is at the tail end of his career at 36 years of age. The incredible form shown by the forward in the 2018-19 Italian Serie A campaign has not only seen him go toe-to-toe with Cristiano Ronaldo for the Golden Boot title but it has also resulted in the striker being an impressive choice for the Italian national team ahead of Euro 2020 qualifiers. Italy have two major qualifying matches coming up in March and Roberto Mancini has decided to include Quagliarella much to the surprise of fans.

This marks a return to international football for the 36-year-old after almost a decade. He was last seen with the Italian national team back in 2010 and this can provide a very short spell with the national team for the striker, as he only featured for three years since making his debut in 2007. The forward made only 25 appearances for the national team with a return of seven goals. The striker has been well travelled throughout his career and he has represented clubs like Sampdoria, Udinese, Napoli, Juventus, and Torino. However, he has been making his name only in his second spell with Sampdoria.
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Minnesota United on Sunday announce the signing of formal Italy u21 international, goalkeeper Vito Mannone on a season-long loan from English Championship side Reading. The 30-year-old who once represented Arsenal was expected to supplant Bobby Shuttleworth as the Loons’ No. 1, and allow No. 7 overall pick in the Major League Soccer (MLS)  2019  SuperDraft and national champion at University of Maryland Dayne St. Clair to potentially go out on loan in search of first- team minutes.

Speaking to reporters MNUFC head coach Adrian Heath said the most important thing is they have added another player who is very experienced in the game, and has played at a really high level in the Premier League, the Championship, which are very difficult leagues to play in.
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Aidy Boothroyd, U21s Boss Says He Would Have Paid Happily To Watch Their Win In Italy

Aidy Boothroyd has admitted that he would have been more than happy to pay for a ticket in order to watch England defeat Italy in U21s. A Dominic Solanke had proven to be enough help for the Young Lions to get a 2-1 win in the game in Ferrara in first preparation games of England for the summer’s Euro Finals to take place in Italy.

The host having pushed his side and then equalizing the great goal of their own Moises Kean, Aidy Boothroyd felt that every person in Stadio Paolo Mazza enjoyed their time.
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Stephen Kenny takes Charge of Games against Italy and Sweden U21s

Stephen Kenny has been handed a difficult group with regards to the euro qualifiers since the Republic of Ireland under 21 team will be placed alongside the Italy under 21s and the Swedish under 21 team. Kenny has been placed as the successor for Mick McCarthy for the senior managerial post in 2020, but he will be gaining ground as the under 21 manager for most of the campaign. The former Dundalk manager will also be preparing his team to take on the likes of Armenia, Iceland, and Luxembourg in the qualifying group. Kenny replaces Noel King after an incredibly successful in his time at Irish domestic football.

Ireland will be quietly confident about reaching the finals, which will be hosted at Hungary and Slovenia in 2021. The qualification campaign starts in March. There are nine group winners who will be able to reach the finals automatically, while the runner-up from each group will have to reach the finals after a play-off. Even though Kenny will be enjoyed of the under 21 national team only for two matches before he starts work with the senior set up, this time it is expected to be invaluable for both manager and players. After having excelled in domestic football, it is a great opportunity for Kenny to make his mark on the international game.
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Belgian Overcome Italy Under 21s with Narrow Win

Belgium were able to overcome Italy under-21s with a solitary goal in the latest friendly match between the two teams. Italy came into the game after having lost only once in 2018 and this was a narrow 3-2 loss against Portugal back in May. After having drawn against the likes of France and beaten the likes of Albania, there was enough reason to expect a positive result for Italy U21 team. Franciz Amuzu, though, came up with the only goal of the game that helped Belgium to a narrow victory while Italy came closest through Luca Valzania, who hit the woodwork.

Even though it was an incredibly disappointing result for theAzzurrini, they will continue with the progress for the Euro Under-21 Championship. The national team will be playing against Tunisia at home in the next friendly match. In a game that was devoid of quality chances, Belgium had the best opportunity to open the scoring when a shot was heavily deflected. After having seen both teams survive some threats in the 90 minutes, it was the visitors the lead in the second half through substituteAmuzu. His 81st minute goal broke the deadlock and ultimately Italian hearts. Italy did create several opportunities during the game and Parigini was their best forward.
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Luigi Di Biagio wants more playing time

Italy under 21 coach Luigi Di Biagio stated that the young players are currently not getting enough playing time. He said that at this age you need to be playing regularly but he is disappointed that his players are not getting enough experience.

He said that there is nothing compared to a competitive game to help the players develop and he believes that this is hindering the development of Italian players. He said that two years ago the young players were playing more games and that this has reduced drastically nowadays.

Luigi Di Biagio said that he does not know the exact reason why this has happened and that he does not want to blame the coaches and the clubs but he is merely stating what has happened.

As a coach he wants his players to get enough playing time and that he wants to see clubs giving youth players a chance. He believes that this is a situation that the football federation should pay attention to if they want the Italian football team to progress.

He said that it has been a long time since the Italian football team has produced some world-class players and that there need to be some changes at the grassroots level if you want the level of football to rise.

Luigi Di Biagio said that no amount of training will replace a competitive game and that the young players should get a taste of pressure in order to develop. He believes that there are some good players at in the Italy U21 team but they are not being developed adequately once they leave the national team.

He said that this is one of the reasons why the Italian national team is suffering and that there need to be some changes at this level.

Di Biagio on team

Italy U21 team coach Luigi Di Biagio said that he is happy with the current team and that there is no doubt that there is some great talent in the squad. He said that these players need the proper training so as to develop and that it is important that you do not rush them at their age.

Luigi Di Biagio said most of these players play in the first team for their club and they already have some good experience of top-level football. He said what is important now is to help them play as a team for their country.

He said that the major problem that you face as a national team coach is that you do not have a lot of time to spend with the players and that you will have to make the most of the short international break.

He believes that Italy has some good players at the U21 level and that he is sure that they will develop in a strong team. He said that it has been a disappointment for the Italy fans to miss the current World Cup and he will be hoping that his current U21 team will develop and provide a good pool of talents for the next Euros and World Cup.

Luigi Di Biagio said that it is important that the Italy federation provide the necessary support for the players at the grassroots level and that clubs continue to encourage the development of young players. He said that it is only then that Italy will be able to build a team that will allow them to challenge the top countries when it comes to international trophies.

Luigi Di Biagio said that the U21 players are all motivated and determined to show what they can do in order to win games.


Italy would not be playing in the World Cup next year – the first time they will fail to qualify for the World Cup in sixty years. The Italians lost their spot to Sweden in the playoff as they could not crack their opponents.

Aside the failure to qualify, the Azzurris have other problems. One of which is aging in the team when the next World Cup comes around. The squad members would be advanced in age so the team would need to scout for fresher talents and integrate them.
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Italy Under-21 coach Luis Di Biagio is happy with the Azzurrini’s defeat over Slovenia on Tuesday.

The youngsters thrashed their opponents 4-1. The team would end the year on a winning note. The team however would miss Sassuolo defender Claud Adjapong who was injured.

Di Biagio praised his team for the win, saying they did well. They recently began their two year era under the coach after their disappointment at the European U-21 Championship.

The team played Spain on September 1 before facing Slovenia three days later in a friendly.

“Slovenia don’t have the nobility of Spain, but I’m happy,” Di Baggio said about the 4-1 win.

“We had the right attitude to attack the match. These matches are never easy, so you have to make it easy. I didn’t want us to concede. We dropped our concentration level, so we have to grow from this. Still, we’re happy about what we did and it lets us more forward,” the coach added. Continue reading