Defending champion Italy come into Euro 2024 without the weight of the favourite tag hanging over it but in major tournaments, it can never be written off if it can progress from a challenging group.

Italy went into Euro 2020 having failed to qualify for the previous World Cup, and it comes into this year’s tournament in the same situation, but under Luciano Spalletti it is ready to put the past behind it in a bid to repeat the glory days.

Unlike last time when it strolled through its qualification group for Euro 2020 with 10 wins out of 10, this time around its participation was at risk until the final game.

Italy at a glance:

Previous Euro performance: 10 participations, winners 1968 and 2021

Other honours: World Cup winners 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006

FIFA ranking: 9

Nickname: Gli Azzurri

Coach: Luciano Spalletti

Star players: Gianluigi Donnarumma, Nicolo Barella, Federico Chiesa

Main clubs: Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan

How did they qualify: Finished second in Group C

Italy defeated England on penalties to win the last Euros but when it came up against the same opponents in qualifying the Italians lost both meetings, and a 0-0 draw with Ukraine meant it scraped through and avoided the playoffs.

Italy’s struggles in qualification placed it as the bottom seeds in the draw, and it ended up in probably the toughest group, alongside Spain, Croatia and Albania in Group B.

Spalletti, who led Napoli to its first Serie A title since 1990 last season, took over as manager when Roberto Mancini resigned in August last year.

Italy’s main problem of late has been upfront, which led to the call-up of Argentine-born Mateo Retegui and while the 25-year-old has netted four times in his six appearances, he may not be a guarantee on the big stage.

The main goal threat in qualifying came from midfield, with Davide Frattesi Italy’s leading scorer with three goals, but a return to form for Gianluca Scamacca may give Italian fans reason to be cheerful.

Scamacca had a disappointing stint at West Ham United last season but has shone on his return to Italy with Atalanta, and his two goals against Liverpool in the Europa League quarter-finals reminded people just what a talent he can be.

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Spalletti will rely on quite a few of Inter Milan’s Scudetto-winning side. Federico Dimarco and Alessandro Bastoni will likely start in defence, with Francesco Darmian and Francesco Acerbi also available.

In midfield, Frattesi can hopefully continue his scoring form and Nicolo Barella will be the man Italy rely on to play a leading role, contributing both in attack and defence.

Federico Chiesa was one of Italy’s best players when it won Euro 2020 and Italy will hope he can make a return to form for the national side after an injury-hit, inconsistent season at Juventus.

Italy kicked off Euro 2020 with a 3-0 win over Turkey and will need another bright start when it plays Albania in its opening game before it faces the more fancied Spain and Croatia.

The four best third-placed teams will progress, along with the top two in each group, so there is a good chance Italy will still be involved in the knockout stages. At that point, Italy is as good as anyone at grinding out a result.


Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris St Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham Hotspur)

Defenders: 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), Federico Gatti (Juventus), Gianluca Mancini (Roma)

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Nicolo Fagioli (Juventus), Michael Folorunsho (Hellas Verona), Davide Frattesi (Inter), Jorginho (Arsenal), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)

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


Italy vs Albania – June 16, Sunday – 12:30 AM

Italy vs Spain – June 21, Friday – 12:30 AM

Italy vs Croatia – June 25, Tuesday – 12:30 AM


All of Italy’s matches at Euro 2024 will be telecasted on the Sony Sports Network. The matches will also be live-streamed on the SonyLIV app.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)