A consistent feature at European Championships and an early world leader on the world stage, Italy’s decline and retirement of a golden generation came at entirely the wrong time.
The Azzurre went from being a world power to an also run to a team that failed to qualify for a World Cup for two decades, something that has not helped the growth of women’s football at home.
With Serie A starting to boom and the current squad flourishing under coach, Milena Bertolini, the World Cup seems to have come at just the right time, as momentum and a home shift to professionalism could well play its part this summer.
A team with a terrific amount of potential, their group opposition of Australia, Brazil and Jamaica will all provide different tests for the Azzurre but there is no question, Italy possesses the ability to beat each team in Group C.
Goalkeepers: Laura Giuliani (Juventus), Chiara Marchitelli (Florentia), Rosalia Pipitone (Roma).
Defenders: Elisa Bartoli (Roma), Lisa Boattin (Juventus), Laura Fusetti (Milan), Sara Gama (Juventus), Alia Guagni (Fiorentina), Elena Linari (Atlético Madrid), Linda Tucceri Cimini (Milan).
Midfielders: Valentina Bergamaschi (Milan), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus), Valentina Cernoia (Juventus), Aurora Galli (Juventus), Manuela Giugliano (Milan), Alice Parisi (Fiorentina), Martina Rosucci (Juventus), Annamaria Serturini (Roma).
Attackers: Cristiana Girelli (Juventus), Valentina Giacinti (Milan), Ilaria Mauro (Fiorentina), Daniela Sabatino (Milan), Stefania Tarenzi (Chievo Verona).
Fine margins will decide Group C but there is no question Italy are good enough to get out of the group, finishing anywhere from top to a best third-place finisher. Yet, once the Azzurre reach the knockouts they’ll be in uncharted territory and it’s hard to see the Italians making the last four; the first or second hurdle one that will be too high to jump.
Also see: Our main 2019 Women’s World Cup page.
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