Azzurri pre-Euro2k+4 thread (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
Di Vaio joy at Azzurri call
Tuesday 18 May, 2004

Marco Di Vaio was the surprise element in Giovanni Trapattoni’s Euro 2004 squad, but there is controversy on his inclusion.

“I am very happy to receive this call from Trapattoni,” said the Juventus striker. “I have always felt myself to be part of the group right from the opening qualifiers, so part of me expected it.”

There was a great deal of competition for that sixth forward role, freed up by Filippo Inzaghi’s injury worries, but many expected Alberto Gilardino or even Di Vaio’s Juve teammate Fabrizio Miccoli to get the nod.

“The wait to see the final squad names is always a bit of a nerve-wracking moment. Now we can get down to business.”

The former Parma man is one of five Bianconeri stars making the trip to Portugal along with Gianluigi Buffon, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mauro German Camoranesi and Alessandro Del Piero.

“My objective for this tournament is to be of use to the team,” he concluded. “If I get to play for a single minute, I’ll be more than happy.”

Di Vaio’s inclusion has caused controversy, as the top Italian scorer in Serie A this season has been left at home.

“I would have brought Gilardino along,” revealed former Italy boss Dino Zoff. “He has been the surprise package of the season and would have come in handy out there.”

Zoff was in charge of the Azzurri at Euro 2000, where they missed out on the trophy with a last-gasp equaliser and then a Golden Goal from France.

Buy on


Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
Corradi on Cloud Nine
Tuesday 18 May, 2004

Bernardo Corradi is ecstatic at his Italy call and Lazio’s Coppa Italia win, but cuts short talk of a move to Milan.

“I was hoping I’d get my first shot at a major international tournament,” said the 28-year-old hitman, “but I kept my fingers crossed until the names were released.”

Corradi is considered to be the major alternative to Christian Vieri and it is because of his presence that 23-goal hero Alberto Gilardino was left at home.

“I think I was chosen for a mixture of elements. Giovanni Trapattoni appreciates my work ethic for the team, while he also likes my outgoing character and ability to make friends within the squad. I know too well that a team’s success is down to its unity.”

This has been particularly apparent at Lazio over the last two seasons, where the side has battled together against all odds to earn the Coppa Italia.

But his attention is focused on the Azzurri and the future starts from Euro 2004.

“I see a young, strong Italy side that is competitive and motivated. It would be wonderful for us all to start a new winning era for our country.”

Italy’s Group games are against Denmark, Sweden and Bulgaria, so Corradi cast his eye over their opponents.

“Denmark are clearly the most dangerous,” he insisted. “As for the tournament as a whole, Holland and France are looking good, even if Portugal could make their mark as the hosts.”

A good performance in Euro 2004 would raise Corradi’s price tag and there is talk of a switch to join Jaap Stam at Milan.

“I ended the season in the best possible way,” he said after scoring in the 4-2 aggregate Coppa Italia win over Juventus, “and promised not to mention the transfer market again.”

If Corradi is packing his bags for Portugal, then Nicola Legrottaglie finds himself suddenly making holiday plans.

“If I have to be absolutely honest,” said the defender, “I already felt something was up after the 1-1 friendly against Spain. I was usually considered to be the natural replacement for Alessandro Nesta, but that day I didn’t even step on to the field.”

The former Chievo man has disappointed since moving to Juventus last summer and was often lampooned by the fans.

“Trapattoni phoned me and claimed I was out because of my ongoing hip problem, but I think I am paying for all the press criticism I have received and of course Juve’s poor campaign.”


Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
Gilardino feels ignored
Tuesday 18 May, 2004

No other Italian has scored as many League goals as Alberto Gilardino this season, but he reveals how he learned he wasn’t going to Euro 2004.

“I am relaxed, honestly,” said the 21-year-old hitman. “I learned about the fact I wasn’t called through the media, because nobody from the Federation bothered to call me.”

Many pundits believed the Parma man would receive a call-up for the senior Azzurri squad after he bagged 23 goals – just one shy of Capocannoniere Andriy Shevchenko – but Giovanni Trapattoni opted to stick with Marco Di Vaio instead.

“I really cannot deny that I am very disappointed and bitter about this,” he continued. “I can say I have no regrets, as I believe I’ve had a great season.”

The striker will now throw himself into winning another European Championship – the Under-21 tournament in May.

“If Trapattoni has made this decision, then he must have had his reasons and I can’t say anything about that. Now I will play with the Azzurrini and am convinced this will be a great adventure for all of us.”

Those 23 goals may not have earned him an Italy cap, but they have seen his price-tag go through the roof with Juventus, Inter and Real Madrid showing interest.

“It is too early to say what will happen,” said the former Piacenza forward. “I do know that there are several different clubs, both in Italy and abroad, who want me. Reading the newspapers nowadays brings a smile to my face.”

As the Tardini outfit is still struggling with financial problems, it is more than likely he’ll be sold in the summer.

“After the Under-21 Championships we will look at my future, but certainly not now. I won’t rule out good news from Parma, mind you.”


Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
Sorry, Sal. Look at things on the bright side, hun. Trap still has until June 2nd to change his mind (pray for an injury to Corradi or something :D) and if Inzaghi stays home and Italy are shite he can't get blamed, now can he? ;)


Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter #26
    Trap keeps Del Piero faith
    Posted by Alex | Football Italia

    Giovanni Trapattoni has named his preferred starting eleven and shot down Antonio Cassano and Andrea Pirlo's hopes of breaking into the side.

    “Alessandro Del Piero has a crucial role within this team,” assured the Italy Coach as he prepares to name his official 23-man squad for Euro 2004. “With Cassano we would be too unbalanced.”

    The Juventus captain wasted several chances in the 4-0 friendly win over Tunisia, but despite pressure from the press to field Cassano instead, Trap is keeping his faith in the old guard.

    “There are no hierarchies here,” insisted Trapattoni. “The friendly test didn’t change anything and besides, I thought Del Piero played well. Cassano represents an extra weapon we can take out at the opportune moment, but his presence does unbalance the midfield.”

    “The basic line-up that will start against Denmark on June 14 is Buffon, Panucci, Cannavaro, Nesta, Zambrotta, Camoranesi, Perrotta, Zanetti, Del Piero, Totti, Vieri.”

    This also leaves out Milan midfielders Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo, even though the former Under-21 international scored on Sunday evening.

    “There are no doubts he is a great player,” Trap said of Pirlo, “but it is also true that the Italy squad has a different tactical system to that of Milan. At club level he plays on his own in front of the defence and starts moves, while here there are two in that role with different requirements.”

    Pirlo is not the only one forced to adapt, as even Francesco Totti must change the way he works from his Roma experience.

    “Totti does well to come deep and force his marker to lose sight of the ball. I was a defender too and know that, for example with people like Michel Platini, if he moves around in a deeper role you’re cut out of the game and that hurts your own team overall.”

    The Coach came in for a lot of criticism during the 2002 World Cup, but has since changed his system to a more attacking 4-2-3-1.

    “I would like to win games with entertaining football,” he concluded, “but if for some reason we are unable to deliver the fireworks, then I’d prefer to win anyway.”



    Senior Member
    Aug 14, 2002
    Cassano is a great player but with Del Piero at his best, he doesn't really stand a chance. So what now remains to be seen is if Del Piero will be at his best.;)


    Senior Member
    Jul 14, 2002
    Azzurri slam Euro ball
    Thursday 3 June, 2004

    A number of the Italian national squad are unhappy with the official football that will be used at Euro 2004.

    Azzurrini No 1 Marco Amelia has publicly criticised it during the U-21 Finals and now members of the full squad fear it will cause problems.

    "It is worse than the ball we used at the World Cup," blasted ‘keeper Gigi Buffon (pictured). "It’s also a strange grey colour.

    "Obviously it would be too simple to play with a white and black one. We also play with an odd football at Juventus where it simply goes where it wants to."

    Reserve shot-stopper Angelo Peruzzi is another who fears that it could spring a few surprises.

    "Balls are becoming lighter and lighter. The manufacturers are doing this in order to provide the sport with more spectacular goals," insisted the Lazio man.

    "But this is obviously a disadvantage to goalkeepers because the ball changes direction and we run the risk of making fools of ourselves."

    However, it is not just the men in between the sticks who don’t like the feel and flight of the ‘Roteiro’ balls.

    "I’ve heard some people who claim that it is more suited to attackers but that isn’t true," said Francesco Totti. "It doesn’t even bounce properly."

    Could this be a factor? :undecide:


    Senior Member
    Jul 14, 2002
    Two friendly matches were played today...

    Trap experiments new Pirlo role
    Friday 4 June, 2004

    In all 17 Italy goals were scored in two separate mini friendly matches this afternoon, but the new 4-3-3 formation was a surprise to observers.

    Giovanni Trapattoni took the opportunity to test out different tactical systems, using the 4-4-2 in the first game against local side Tamai and an ambitious 4-3-3 to face the Under-17 Italy squad.

    The opening encounter mainly involved the ‘reserve’ players and concluded with a rotund 10-0 scoreline. Bernardo Corradi and Marco Di Vaio were the stars with a hat-trick apiece, while Roma’s Antonio Cassano confirmed his fine form with a brace and three assists. The other scorers were Mauro Camoranesi and an Andrea Pirlo penalty.

    Pirlo was also in the second outfit that beat the Under-17 squad 7-0 later that afternoon in another 80-minute encounter.

    This was a particularly intriguing test, as Trap fielded an experimental 4-3-3 system with Pirlo in a deep midfield role, allowing Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero to move closer to Christian Vieri upfront.

    Although Vieri hit the headlines with four goals, three of which were set up by Totti, the crowd was impressed by Del Piero’s contribution. The Juventus captain scored a magnificent strike before thumping the woodwork twice. Totti and Simone Perrotta were also on target.

    The only players who didn’t take part in either of these games were Stefano Fiore, Christian Panucci and Gianluigi Buffon, as they are struggling with minor fitness worries.

    One man took part in all 140 minutes of football was Lazio fullback Massimo Oddo.

    Italy 10-0 Tamai

    Scorers: Corradi (3), Di Vaio (3), Cassano (2), Camoranesi (1), Pirlo (1, pen)

    Italy: Peruzzi; Oddo, Ferrari, Materazzi, Favalli; Camoranesi, Gattuso, Pirlo, Di Vaio; Corradi, Cassano

    Italy 7-0 Italy U-17

    Scorers: Vieri (4), Del Piero (1), Totti (1), Perrotta (1)

    Italy: Toldo; Oddo, Nesta, Cannavaro, Zambrotta; Perrotta, Zanetti, Camoranesi (Pirlo 35); Totti, Del Piero, Vieri


    Senior Member
    Apr 22, 2003
    Hopefully this will boost Del Piero and Di Vaio's confidence, as they're two players who need it more than anyone


    Senior Member
    Jul 14, 2002
    ++ [ originally posted by gray ] ++
    Hopefully this will boost Del Piero and Di Vaio's confidence, as they're two players who need it more than anyone
    Agreed. I'm expecting big things from DP in Portugal. It's now or never, Ale.

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