Italian national football team (U-21 men)
|Association||Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio|
|Head coach||Paolo Nicolato|
|Assistant coach||Massimo Mutarelli|
|Record scorer||Alberto Gilardino (19)|
|Record player||Andrea Pirlo (46)|
|Home stadium||Changing stages|
First international match Portugal 1-0 Italy ( Funchal , Portugal ; 23 December 1976)
Biggest win Italy 7-0 Estonia ( Catanzaro , Italy ; March 23, 1995)
Biggest defeat Norway 6-0 Italy ( Stavanger , Norway ; June 5, 1991)
|Successes in tournaments|
|Participation in the finals||18 ( first : 1978 )|
1992 , 1994 , 1996 , 2000 , 2004
|(As of July 30, 2018)|
The Italian U-21 national soccer team is a selection team of Italian soccer players . It is subordinate to the Italian football association Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio and represents it at the U-21 level , for example in friendly matches against the national teams of other national associations or at European championships of the continental association UEFA . Eligible to play are players who are Italian citizens and have not yet reached the age of 21. In tournaments, the age at the first qualifying game is decisive.
The Italian U-21 was founded in 1976. The reason for this was the reorganization and regulation of UEFA this year, which lowered the age limit from 23 to 21. Before that, there had been a U-23 since 1970, which is the origin of today's U-21 selection.
Until 1990, the Italian team always qualified for the round of the last eight participants in the U-21 European Championships held up to then . The team had their greatest success to date in 1986 when they reached the final. At that time the final was played in two games. The Italians won the first leg against Spain 2-1. The second leg also ended 2-1, but this time from a Spanish perspective. So after extra time failed to produce a winner, there was a penalty shoot-out. This decided the Spanish selection 3-0 for themselves. Between 1990 and 2004, the team formed the top team in this age group and won the European Championship five times. In 1992 when they first won the title, they faced the team from Sweden . After the first and second leg it was 2-1 for the kickers from the Apennine peninsula . The Italians defended their title in the first final, which was played in a country. On the way to the final, the Czech Republic and then hosts France were beaten.
On April 20, 1994 in Montpellier , Portugal was defeated 1-0 after extra time and the second title win was perfect. In the 1996 final, the Italians took revenge for their 1986 final defeat by beating Spain's side. As ten years ago, the penalty shoot-out had to decide this time. 4: 2 was the result there. The Azzurrini reached a brief low point when they did not qualify for the final round of the European Championship in 1998. Two years later, in Slovakia , they made this embarrassment forgotten and secured their fourth European championship title against the Czech Republic. Two years later, the Czechs got their revenge when the two teams faced each other in the semifinals of the 2002 European Championships in Switzerland. This time it was the Czechs who prevailed and then won the title. Up to the 86th minute, the Eastern Europeans were 2-0 ahead. Then Andrea Pirlo equalized the result with a penalty in the 86th and Massimo Maccarone in the 90th minute and forced the game into extra time. There the Czech Michal Pospíšil scored the decisive goal. The Blues won the last title so far in 2004 in Germany. On June 8, 2004, Serbia and Montenegro were the opponents to be defeated in Bochum .
After the two teams met in the preliminary round and Italy prevailed 2-1 there, the second meeting was decided 3-0 for the azure-colored. Daniele De Rossi gave the team the lead before half-time before Cesare Bovo and then Alberto Gilardino decided the game. In 2006 and 2007 the team did not get beyond the preliminary round. However, in 2007 a third place in the group stage was enough to play in the qualifying game for the 2008 Summer Olympics . The reason for this was that the English selection as second in the preliminary group B cannot qualify for the 2012 Olympics, as they are set to host this tournament. In the play-off game, Pierluigi Casiraghi's team met Portugal and prevailed 4-3 after a penalty.
On March 24, 2007, the U-21s played their first game at the new Wembley Stadium against England's selection . The game ended in a 3-3 draw. Giampaolo Pazzini was a three-time goalscorer for the azure.
Tournament balances at U-21 European Championships
|year||Host country||Participation until ...||Last opponent||Result|
|1980||Quarter finals||Soviet Union||-|
|2000||Slovakia||final||Czech Republic||European champion|
|2004||Germany||final||Serbia and Montenegro||European champion|
|2006||Portugal||Preliminary round||Denmark, Netherlands, Ukraine||-|
|2007||Netherlands||Preliminary round||England, Czech Republic, Serbia||-|
|2015||Czech Republic||Preliminary round||England, Portugal, Sweden||-|
|2019||Italy San Marino||Preliminary round||Belgium||-|
Notes: Between 1978 and 1992, the final round of a U-21 European Championship was not played in one country, but instead played back and forth in the respective participating nations.
Tournament of Toulon
The Italian U-21s have been invited to the Toulon tournament eight times so far . The first participation was in 1974. In 2008 they celebrated their first victory at this tournament.
The Mediterranean Games are where only countries to participate based on the Olympic Games, a competition from the Mediterranean region. In 1993 and 1997, the soccer tournaments were played as U-23 competitions. The U-21 of Italy took part in these. After the fourth place was achieved in the first participation in 1993 in France, the team of then coach Rossano Giampaglia won the tournament four years later. In 2001 the competition was only open for the U-20 national teams and then, in 2005, only for U-18 selection teams.
Participation in the Mediterranean Games
|1993 in France||4th Place|
|1997 in Italy||winner|
- 1976-1986: Azeglio Vicini
- 1986-1996: Cesare Maldini
- 1996-1998: Rossano Giampaglia
- 1998-2000: Marco Tardelli
- 2000-2006: Claudio Gentile
- 2006-2010: Pierluigi Casiraghi
- 2010–2012: Ciro Ferrara
- 2012–2013: Devis Mangia
- 2013–2019: Luigi Di Biagio
- 2019– Paolo Nicolato :
- Italian national soccer team
- Italian national football team (U-20 men)
- Italian national football team (U-19 juniors)
- Italian national football team (U-17 juniors)
- Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio
- Soccer in Italy
- U-21 European Football Championship
- Official website of the Italian Association (Italian, English)
- Profile of Italy's U-21s on uefa.com
- Profile of Italy's U-21s on transfermarkt.de
- Profile of Italy's U-21s on weltfussball.de
- Gravina: “Vogliamo continuare ad emozionare tutti gli appassionati”. In: figc.it. FIGC, accessed June 19, 2019 (Italian).
- UEFA European Under-21 Championship Italy - squad. In: uefa.com. UEFA, accessed June 19, 2019 .