Eurocup 2024 Italy Squad Announcement: List of Players

Current holders Italy have chosen their provisional squad of 30 players who Luciano Spalletti will hope to retain the European Championships title this summer in Germany. However their final squad is not yet confirmed, meaning a handful of those 30 will miss out when the final cut is made.

Composition of the Squad

Here is the list of players currently in the running to make it for the summer’s event:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG), Alex Meret (Napoli), Ivan Provedel (Lazio), Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham).

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Inter), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Raoul Bellanova (Torino), Alessandro Buongiorno (Torino), Riccardo Calafiori (Bologna), Andrea Cambiaso (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Inter), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta).

Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Nicolò Fagioli (Juventus), Michael Folorunsho (Hellas Verona), Davide Frattesi (Inter), Jorginho (Arsenal), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Samuele Ricci (Torino).

Forwards: Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Riccardo Orsolini (Bologna), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Mateo Retegui (Genoa), Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta), Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio).

There are a couple of notable exclusions so far. First up is Al-Arabi midfielder Marco Verratti, with the 31-year-old now operating in Qatar after leaving Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Another player not to be included is Lazio’s Ciro Immobile. While Verratti can no longer boast weekly top-flight football.

Veteran striker Immobile has been cut after his lowest scoring tally ever for Lazio. While he notched 11 goals for the Serie A side, he nonetheless is now showing his 34-year-old age.

The surprise name for many observers is 22-year-old central defender Riccardo Calafiori, with the Bologna man impressing under Thiago Motta this season.

Key Players to Watch

The Italy team no longer boasts quite as many big names as it did at its peak, but with Spalletti in charge they could still be an effective team, given his abilities as a coach. There are nonetheless a few important players.

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain): The imposing goalkeeper remains a mainstay of the PSG defence. Even if they can get past the defenders, there is no guarantee any striker in the world will be able to beat the Italian.

Federico Chiesa (Juventus): The forward has been linked with a move to the Premier League for several years, and his efforts at Juventus have not gone unnoticed. He grabbed 10 goals for the Old Lady this season and the 26-year-old may now be entering his prime.

Jorginho (Arsenal): The veteran midfielder was key to Arsenal’s title challenge and this could be his last tournament with the Italian side as the 32-year-old may not be able to go on forever at this level. A mature and steady head, he could provide some leadership at key moments alongside some younger names.

Expectations for Italy’s Performance

Italy have not tasted defeat since October 2023, against a capable England side. They do face a desperately tough group, though. Croatia and Spain will be formidable opponents, and the pressure will be on from the very start. If they fail to pick up a win against the Group B’s remaining side, Albania, then they will be struggling to get into the knockouts.

In two recent friendlies, Mateo Retegui impressed with a brace against Venezuela in March, while a few days later, Nicolo Barella showed how important he can be from midfield with a goal against Ecuador.

Despite any concerns, this is an Italy talent with a capable manager and some exciting players, they have a more than decent chance of challenging come the end of the tournament.

Managerial Decisions and Strategy

Spalletti made his name with a blistering 4-3-3 with his Serie A-winning Napoli side, and he has often employed that approach with the national team.

However, in recent months he has been experimenting with other setups, employing a 3-4-1-2 and a 3-5-2 approach, which allows for the players to break the lines more easily, for midfielders to support the defence, and for defenders to become part of the attack.

Lorenzo Pellegrini and Federico Chiesa can offer support to Mateo Retegui in attack, and Jorginho could pull the strings behind.

Fan Reactions and Excitement

The final 26-man squad will be announced on June 6, giving Spalletti the chance to make his final preparations and run the rule over any late fitness or tactical concerns. Fans back in Italy will be waiting with excitement and anticipation to see who will be chosen, not least the players.

Some on social media decried some missing names, asking “Where is [Destiny] Udogie?” and another questioned Marco Verratti’s absence with “below average” alternatives picked ahead of him. Others claimed, “Italy squads used to be respectable”, suggesting that faith amongst Italians is wavering – but the same was true in 2021 when they triumphed. One more hopeful supporter claimed, “nothing is impossible.”

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