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Italy national under-21 football team facts for kids

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Italy Under-21
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Gli Azzurrini
(The Little Blues)
Association Italian Football Federation
(Federazion Italia Giuoco Calcio – FIGC)
Head coach Paolo Nicolato
Captain Marco Carnesecchi
Most caps Andrea Pirlo (46)
Top scorer Alberto Gilardino (19)
First colours
Second colours
First international
U-23: Italy Italy 3–1 Austria Austria
(Varese, Italy; 1 November 1970)
U-21: Portugal Portugal 1–0 Italy Italy
(Funchal, Italy; 23 December 1976)
Biggest win
Italy Italy 7–0 Estonia Estonia
(Catanzaro, Italy; 23 March 1995)
Italy Italy 8–1 Wales Wales
(Pavia, Italy; 5 September 2003)
Italy Italy 7–0 Liechtenstein Liechtenstein
(Casarano, Italy; 6 September 2012)
Biggest defeat
Norway Norway 6–0 Italy Italy
(Stavanger, Norway; 5 June 1991)
Records for competitive
matches only.
Olympic Games
Appearances 5 (first in 1992)
Best result Bronze medal.svg Bronze medallist: (2004)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances 21 (first in 1978)
Best result Champions: (1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004)
Medal record
Italy national under-21 football team
Medal record
Men's Football
Bronze 2004 Athens Team

The Italy national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Italy and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation.

The team competes in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, held every two years. Italy (along with Spain) is the most successful nation in the history of the competition, with five Championships won (1992, 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2004). Italy has also been twice runner-up of the competition, in 1986 and 2013.

From 1990 to 2004 the team established near-total dominance of European Under-21 football, winning five of the seven tournaments.

Italy's Under-21s played the first match at the new Wembley Stadium, on 24 March 2007, against England Under-21s. The game resulted in a 3–3 draw, with Giampaolo Pazzini scoring all 3 goals for the Azzurrini.

Prior to the 2008 Olympic games, Italy U-21s went on to win the 2008 Toulon Tournament by beating Chile (1–0) in the final. It was the first time they had won this tournament, previously their best had been runner-up on two occasions.

UEFA European Under-21 Championship

Since the under-21 competition rules insist that players must be 21 or under at the start of a two-year competition, technically it is an U-23 competition. For this reason, Italy's record in the preceding U-23 competitions is also shown.

  • 1972: Did not qualify. Finished 2nd of 3 in qualification group.
  • 1974: Losing quarter-finalists.
  • 1976: Did not qualify. Finished 2nd of 3 in qualification group.

UEFA U-21 Championship Record

Year Round
Europe 1978 Quarter-Finals
Europe 1980 Quarter-Finals
Europe 1982 Quarter-Finals
Europe 1984 Semi-Finals
Europe 1986 Runners-Up
Europe 1988 Quarter-Finals
Europe 1990 Semi-Finals
Europe 1992 Winners
France 1994 Winners
Spain 1996 Winners
Romania 1998 Did Not Qualify
Slovakia 2000 Winners
Switzerland 2002 Semi-Finals
Germany 2004 Winners
Portugal 2006 Group Stage
Netherlands 2007 Group Stage
Sweden 2009 Semi-Finals
Denmark 2011 Did Not Qualify
Israel 2013 Runners-Up
Czech Republic 2015 Group Stage
Poland 2017 Semi-Finals
Italy 2019 Group Stage
Hungary Slovenia 2021 Quarter-Finals
Romania Georgia (country) 2023 Qualified
Total 22/24
*Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Olympics football Record

Since 1992 Olympic football changed to a U-23 event, and the European U-21 teams are technically U-23 teams. European national teams qualify for the Olympic football tournament through the UEFA European U-21 Championship.

  • Before 1992: See Italy national football team
  • 1992: Quarter-Finals
  • 1996: Group Stage
  • 2000: Quarter-Finals
  • 2004: Bronze Medal
  • 2008: Quarter-Finals
  • 2012: Did Not Qualify
  • 2016: Did Not Qualify
  • 2020: Did Not Qualify
  • 2024: To Be Determined

Overage players in Olympic Games

Tournament Player 1 Player 2 Player 3
1996
Gianluca Pagliuca (GK) Massimo Crippa (MF) Marco Branca (FW)
2000
Did not select
2004
Matteo Ferrari (DF) Andrea Pirlo (MF) Did not select
2008
Tommaso Rocchi (FW) Did not select

Mediterranean Games Record

Mediterranean Games Football tournament was U-23 event in 1993 and 1997.

  • 1993: 4th place
  • 1997: Winners
  • 2001: a U20 event
  • 2005: filled with B team

Honours

  • Winner: 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004
  • Runner-up: 1986, 2013

Coaches

Coaching staff

Current technical staff:

Position Name
Head Coach Italy Paolo Nicolato
Assistant Coach Italy Mirco Gasparetto
Goalkeeping Coach Italy Matteo Mareggini
Team Manager Italy Massimo Paganin
Athletic Trainers Italy Vincenzo Pincolini
Match Analyst Italy Francesco Bordin
Doctors Italy Angelo De Carli
Italy Vincenzo Santoriello
Physiotherapists Italy Nicola Sanna
Italy Emiliano Bozzetti
Physiologist Italy Christian Osgnach
Accompanying Manager Italy Vincenzo Marinelli
Secretary Italy Manfredi Martino

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures

Only official matches are listed.

2022

2023

Players

Players born in 2000 or later are eligible for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Players in bold have been already capped with the senior team.

Current squad

The following players have been selected for the friendly match against Germany on 19 November 2022.

Caps and goals as of 19 November 2022, after the match against Germany.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Marco Carnesecchi (2000-07-01) 1 July 2000 (age 23) 19 0 Italy Cremonese
1GK Stefano Turati (2001-09-05) 5 September 2001 (age 22) 3 0 Italy Frosinone
1GK Elia Caprile (2001-08-25) 25 August 2001 (age 22) 1 0 Italy Bari

2DF Raoul Bellanova (2000-05-17) 17 May 2000 (age 23) 17 0 Italy Internazionale
2DF Lorenzo Pirola (2002-02-20) 20 February 2002 (age 22) 9 1 Italy Salernitana
2DF Giacomo Quagliata (2000-02-19) 19 February 2000 (age 24) 5 1 Italy Cremonese
2DF Mattia Viti (2002-01-24) 24 January 2002 (age 22) 5 0 France Nice
2DF Riccardo Calafiori (2002-05-19) 19 May 2002 (age 21) 3 0 Switzerland Basel
2DF Giorgio Cittadini (2002-04-18) 18 April 2002 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Modena
2DF Matteo Ruggeri (2002-07-11) 11 July 2002 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Atalanta
2DF Christian Dalle Mura (2002-02-02) 2 February 2002 (age 22) 0 0 Italy SPAL

3MF Nicolò Rovella (2001-12-04) 4 December 2001 (age 22) 18 3 Italy Monza
3MF Salvatore Esposito (2000-10-07) 7 October 2000 (age 23) 9 0 Italy SPAL
3MF Edoardo Bove (2002-05-16) 16 May 2002 (age 21) 6 0 Italy Roma
3MF Filippo Ranocchia (2001-05-14) 14 May 2001 (age 22) 5 0 Italy Monza
3MF Cesare Casadei (2003-01-10) 10 January 2003 (age 21) 1 0 England Chelsea
3MF Filippo Terracciano (2003-02-08) 8 February 2003 (age 21) 1 0 Italy Hellas Verona
3MF Franco Tongya (2002-03-13) 13 March 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Denmark OB

4FW Lorenzo Colombo (2002-03-08) 8 March 2002 (age 21) 14 2 Italy Lecce
4FW Emanuel Vignato (2000-08-24) 24 August 2000 (age 23) 10 2 Italy Bologna
4FW Matteo Cancellieri (2002-02-12) 12 February 2002 (age 22) 8 4 Italy Lazio
4FW Nicolò Cambiaghi (2000-12-28) 28 December 2000 (age 23) 7 1 Italy Empoli
4FW Lorenzo Lucca (2000-09-10) 10 September 2000 (age 23) 6 2 Netherlands Ajax
4FW Cristian Volpato (2003-11-15) 15 November 2003 (age 20) 1 0 Italy Roma

Recent call-ups

Following are listed players called up in the previous 12 months that are still eligible to represent the Under-21 team.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Alessandro Sorrentino (2002-04-03) 3 April 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Italy Monza v. Japan, 26 September 2022
GK Alessandro Plizzari (2000-03-12) 12 March 2000 (age 23) 5 0 Italy Pescara v. England, 22 September 2022

DF Caleb Okoli (2001-07-13) 13 July 2001 (age 22) 10 1 Italy Atalanta v. Germany, 19 November 2022 INJ
DF Andrea Cambiaso (2000-02-20) 20 February 2000 (age 24) 7 0 Italy Bologna v. Germany, 19 November 2022 INJ
DF Fabiano Parisi (2000-11-09) 9 November 2000 (age 23) 7 0 Italy Empoli v. Germany, 19 November 2022 PRE
DF Destiny Udogie (2002-11-28) 28 November 2002 (age 21) 6 0 Italy Udinese v. Japan, 26 September 2022
DF Giorgio Scalvini (2003-12-11) 11 December 2003 (age 20) 3 0 Italy Atalanta v. Japan, 26 September 2022
DF Simone Canestrelli (2000-09-11) 11 September 2000 (age 23) 2 3 Italy Pisa v. Japan, 26 September 2022
DF Alessandro Circati (2003-10-10) 10 October 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Italy Parma v. Japan, 26 September 2022
DF Andrea Carboni (2001-02-04) 4 February 2001 (age 23) 1 0 Italy Monza v. Republic of Ireland, 14 June 2022
DF Alessandro Zanoli (2000-10-03) 3 October 2000 (age 23) 1 0 Italy Napoli v. Republic of Ireland, 14 June 2022
DF Matteo Lovato (2000-02-14) 14 February 2000 (age 24) 12 0 Italy Salernitana v. Sweden, 9 June 2022 INJ
DF Antonio Candela (2000-04-27) 27 April 2000 (age 23) 0 0 Italy Venezia v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 March 2022

MF Nicolò Fagioli (2001-02-12) 12 February 2001 (age 23) 6 0 Italy Juventus v. Japan, 26 September 2022
MF Fabio Miretti (2003-08-03) 3 August 2003 (age 20) 3 0 Italy Juventus v. Japan, 26 September 2022
MF Samuele Ricci (2001-08-21) 21 August 2001 (age 22) 13 1 Italy Torino v. Republic of Ireland, 14 June 2022
MF Gianluca Gaetano (2000-05-05) 5 May 2000 (age 23) 3 1 Italy Napoli v. Republic of Ireland, 14 June 2022
MF Manolo Portanova (2000-06-02) 2 June 2000 (age 23) 3 0 Italy Genoa v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 March 2022

FW Pietro Pellegri (2001-03-17) 17 March 2001 (age 22) 5 2 Italy Torino v. Germany, 19 November 2022 INJ
FW Sebastiano Esposito (2002-07-02) 2 July 2002 (age 21) 7 0 Belgium Anderlecht v. Japan, 26 September 2022
FW Luca Moro (2001-01-25) 25 January 2001 (age 23) 1 0 Italy Frosinone v. Japan, 26 September 2022
FW Kelvin Yeboah (2000-05-06) 6 May 2000 (age 23) 4 0 Italy Genoa v. Republic of Ireland, 14 June 2022
FW Gaetano Oristanio (2002-09-28) 28 September 2002 (age 21) 1 0 Netherlands Volendam v. Republic of Ireland, 14 June 2022

INJ Withdrew due to injury

Records

Players in bold are still eligible to represent Under-21 team. As of 31 May 2021.

Top appearances

The following is the top 10 most capped under-21 players:

Rank Player Period U-21 Caps
1 Andrea Pirlo 1998–2002 46
2 Marco Motta 2005–2009 38
3 Francesco Bardi 2011–2015 37
4 Matteo Brighi 2000–2004 35
5 Daniele Bonera 2001–2004 34
6 Matteo Ferrari 1999–2002 33
7 Luca Marrone 2009–2013 32
Alessandro Rosina 2004–2007 32
9 Luca Caldirola 2010–2013 31
Marco Donadel 2004–2006 31

Top goalscorers

The following is the top 10 under-21 goalscorers:

Rank Player Period U-21 Goals U-21 Caps
1 Alberto Gilardino 2000–2004 19 30
2 Andrea Pirlo 1998–2002 16 46
3 Manolo Gabbiadini 2010–2013 12 24
4 Patrick Cutrone 2017–2021 11 25
Massimo Maccarone 2000–2002 11 15
Gianluca Vialli 1983–1986 11 20
7 Robert Acquafresca 2007–2009 10 16
Cristiano Lucarelli 1996–1997 10 10
Christian Vieri 1992–1996 10 19
10 Andrea Belotti 2013–2015 9 18
Ciro Immobile 2009–2013 9 16
Roberto Mancini 1982–1986 9 26
Alberto Paloschi 2008–2013 9 29
Gianluca Scamacca 2018–2021 9 15

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Selección de fútbol sub-21 de Italia para niños

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