Italy qualified for the Euro 2020 with a 100 percent record after failing to qualify in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This was the first World Cup that the Azzurri missed out on since 1958. Gian Piero Ventura’s disastrous stint at the helm was shadowed by Gianluigi Buffon in tears after failing to qualify.
Players to Watch:
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma
After Gianluigi Buffon wore the Number 1 jersey over two decades, the void left by him was always going to be a huge void to fill. He accumulated 176 caps for the country and went on to lift the 2006 World Cup. Fortunately for Italy, there was a terrific shot-stopper waiting in the wings. At the tender age of 22, he is already a world-class keeper and is looking like the new Number 1 for years to come. He has already been made the vice-captain of AC Milan. He already has 200 appearances to his name in Serie A and looks to be the main man for Italy hopes in Euro 2020.
Defence: Leonardo Bonucci
Unlike Joachim Low who brought in a new era by axing a number from his old guard, Mancini has forgone a different approach. A more holistic approach was taken by him. He kept the spine of the teams of the 2010s but also introduced youngsters like Bastoni. Although Chiellini is still the captain of the national team, he hasn’t seen much play time over the last season.
Midfield: Nicolo Barella
Nicolo Barella’s is fresh from winning the Serie A title with Inter Milan. They ended Juventus’ nine-year Serie A win streak in the process. the magnificent mezzala is the complete package, bringing bundles of creativity, vision, a world-class passing range, and a ball-carrying drive that has been likened to Steven Gerrard.
Attack: Federico Chiesa
It’s been a testing transition for Pirlo in the Old Lady dugout, but the loan signing of Federico Chiesa has proved an inspired move from the club. With seven goals and eight assists for Juve this term (Serie A), the Fiorentina loanee has proven a prolific utility man, slotting in on either flank and is taking the Chiesa dynasty to the next level.