How they qualified
En route to the Netherlands, they were beaten 5-2 by Germany, but Roberto Mancini’s came good with back-to-back wins against England and Hungary to top Group 3 on 11 points, one more than the Eastern Europeans.
Italy staged the last edition of the final four in Torino and Milano and suffered defeat at the hands of Spain in the semi-finals 2-1. It was the end of Italy’s run of 37 unbeaten games, but they were not too flustered, having won Euro 2020, their first European championship since 1968. Ultimately, they finished third defeating Belgium in the third-place playoff. In the 2019 Nations League, the Italians failed to qualify for the final four, finishing behind runners-up and eventual winners Portugal in Group 3.
Star player (s)
Italy have some household names like goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and defender Leonardo Bonucci, but the key to the team’s intensity and often overall performances is Marco Verratti, who had to sit out some games with an injury during the Nations League. The midfielder was a key contributor to Italy’s Euro 2020 victory.
Italy coach since 2018, Roberto Mancini led his charges to an unexpected title at Euro 2020, but his spell with the national team has not been easy. Italy were absent in Qatar and Mancini is facing another rebuilding job. For this tournament, he has selected a core of players from Inter Milan, who reached the Champions League final.
What to expect
The Final Four offers the opportunity for some redemption for Italy after they failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second time in a row. They also had a mixed start to the Euro 2024 qualifiers with a defeat by England and a win against Malta. Up front Italy lack goals, but Napoli striker Giacomo Raspadori, as well as Mateo Retegui, have emerged as potential strikers of the future for the Azzurri.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Guglielmo Vicario (Empoli).
Defenders: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Leonardo Spinazzola (AS Roma), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter) Matteo Darmian (Inter), Federico Dimarco (Inter), Francesco Acerbi ( Inter).
Midfielders: Bryan Cristante (Roma), Davide Frattesi (Sassuolo), Jorginho (Arsenal), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Marco Verratti (PSG), Nicolo Zaniolo (Galatasaray), Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio), Nicolo Barella (Inter).
Attackers: Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds United), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Mateo Retegui (Tigre).