Tuesday, 20 October 2009

[U17] Azzurrini squad for World Cup

Italy Under-17 coach Pasquale Salerno has confirmed his 21-man squad for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria.

Italy U17Salerno announced a preliminary list of 24 players last week but had to reduce his final squad selection by today's FIFA deadline.

The prestigious biennial tournament will be played in the West African country from 24 October to 15 November, just over a week after the conclusion of the Under-20 tournament in Egypt.

Italy qualified for the showpiece U17 event after reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-17 Championships in May, beaten 2-0 by eventual winners and hosts Germany.

Salerno's squad features six players - Andrea Bagnai, Federico Carraro, Pietro Iemmello, Federico Mannini, Alessandro Scialpi and Giacomo Venturi - who were not part of the 18-man party that went to Germany.

Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin, captain Alessandro De Vitis of Parma, Genoa starlet Stephan El Shaarawy, Milan forward Giaccomo Beretta and the Inter trio of Lorenzo Crisetig, Simone Dell'Agnello and Marco Fossati are all included.

The players have been training at the Italian Football Federation's Technical Centre in Coverciano for the past week and will depart for Nigeria on Thursday.

Italy will play their matches in the northern cities of Kaduna and Kano having been drawn into Group F alongside Algeria, South Korea and Uruguay.

The Azzurrini will open their campaign on Monday 26 October when Algeria, runner-up in the African Under-17 Championships on home soil this year, are the opponents at the Ahmadu Bello stadium.

The side will then play the 2008 Asian Under-16 Championship finalist South Korea three days later before moving to Kano's Sani Abacha stadium on Sunday 1 November to wrap up the group stage against Uruguay, who finished third in this year's South American Under-17 Championship.

Like the competition's Under-20 counterpart - where an Italy Under-20 side reached the quarter-finals, there are six groups of four teams with all the group winners and runners-up qualifying for the Round of 16. The four best third-placed sides will also progress to the knock-out stage.

The tournament kicks off on Saturday 24 October with four matches, including hosts and reigning champions Nigeria against Germany in Abuja.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Mattia Perin (Genoa), Francesco Bardi (Livorno), Giacomo Venturi (Bologna).
Defenders: Simone Benedetti (Torino), Simone Sini (Roma), Andrea Bagnai (Fiorentina), Michele Camporese (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Camilleri (Reggina), Felice Natalino (Inter), Federico Mannini (Siena).
Midfielders: Alessandro De Vitis (Parma), Marco Fossati (Inter), Alessandro Scialpi (Genoa), Leonardo Bianchi (Empoli), Lorenzo Crisetig (Inter), Federico Carraro (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Genoa).
Forwards: Alberto Libertazzi (Juventus), Simone Dell'Agnello (Inter), Giacomo Beretta (Milan), Pietro Iemmello (Fiorentina).

* Alessio Campoli (Lazio), Francesco Finocchio (Parma) and Luigi Falcone (Lecce) missed out from a preliminary 24-man squad.

[FIFA Under-17 World Cup Draw & Schedule]

Source: FIGC

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