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Senior Member
Jul 12, 2002
Catch up with class of 2003
Saturday, 17 July 2004
By Andrew Haslam in Nottwil

Although Italy's UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals campaign has been somewhat underwhelming to date, with Paolo Berettini's side having collected one point from their first two Group A games, there is some consolation in that a number of Berettini's 18-man party look set to follow in the footsteps of last year's trophy-winning squad and make their mark in Italian league football.

Four for the future
Of the side who defeated Portugal 2-0 in the final in Liechtenstein a year ago, Berettini singled out four for special praise, and all were Serie B regulars in 2003/04. Striker Giampaolo Pazzini – who scored the semi-final winner against the Czech Republic and Italy's second goal in the final – made the biggest impact, scoring nine times in 40 league appearances to help Atalanta BC clinch fifth place in the second division and a top-flight berth.

Loan spell
AS Roma playmaker Alberto Aquilani was another whom Berettini pinpointed as a rising star, and he spent the 2003/04 campaign on loan at US Triestina Calcio, contributing four goals in 41 league appearances as Triestina finished in a respectable tenth place.

Defensive solidity
The two other players that Berrettini earmarked for the future, Andrea Mantovani and Damiano Ferronetti, both spent last season with Aquilani at Triestina. Mantovani, who joined from Torino Calcio, started 32 league games and appeared as a substitute in seven more, while defensive colleague Ferronetti also spent the season on loan from Roma and made 29 starts.

Chiellini contribution
Several other members of Italy's 2003 squad took the opportunity to establish themselves in their respective first teams last season, with midfield player Giorgio Chiellini scoring four times in 37 matches for AS Livorno.

Cup final
Chiellini's fellow midfield player Simone Padoin made 16 starts for Vicenza Calcio, while Alessandro Potenza joined Parma AC on loan from FC Internazionale in January and played 13 times. Forward Raffaele Palladino appeared only once for Juventus FC, as a substitute in the final of the Coppa Italia, which they lost.

Magic Montolivo
At the start of these finals, Berettini stated that the hopes of his squad would depend to a great extent on the performances of a number of individual players. "Our key players will be [Antonio] Nocerino, [Riccardo] Montolivo - the star of the Atalanta side that won promotion last season and the brightest prospect in Italian football - [Daniele] Galloppa, [Michele] Canini and goalkeeper [Emiliano] Viviano," the Italy coach told

Second division games
Montolivo and Nocerino are the most experienced of this group. The former started 21 league games last season, and made 20 more appearances as a substitute, scoring four goals in the process as Atalanta returned to Serie A. Meanwhile, Nocerino, a combative midfield player, was booked 12 times and sent off once in his 33 appearances for US Avellino.

European experience
"In addition, Tonino Sorrentino played for Parma [AC] in the UEFA Cup in 2003/04 and scored twice [in the second round against SV Austria Salzburg], while Andrea Alberti was among the replacements at Brescia [Calcio] last season," Berettini continued. "Like all the others, these players grew up together with the national side and have international experience."

Bright prospects
Although Italy have reason to feel disappointed with their results from the first two games, the way forward for the squad appears to be clear. If they can follow the lead of the class of 2003 and take their first steps towards solid professional careers, their experience in Switzerland is sure to stand them in good stead.


Montolivo and Padoin might be ones to watch,this time in real life:cool:

Buy on


Senior Member
Jul 12, 2002
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter #3
    yeah Pazzini's great too:thumb:

    CM's scouting team is just brilliant:D

    the article mentions chiellini too,but it says he's a midfield player:undecide:

    The Arif

    Senior Member
    Jan 31, 2004
    Under-19 names to note
    Monday, 26 July 2004

    By Andrew Haslam

    One of the most enjoyable activities at any youth championship is trying to pick out those players who will go on to become world stars, and the UEFA European Under-19 Championship has offered a number of potential options in that respect. picks out eleven players who have shone in Switzerland and whose futures look bathed in optimism.

    Andrea Alberti (Italy)
    Picked out before the tournament as one to watch by Italy coach Paolo Berettini, the Brescia Calcio forward put Italy in front against Switzerland and scored twice in the 4-0 win against Belgium, including a fine free-kick - but could not prevent the holders' early elimination.

    Oleksandr Aliyev (Ukraine)
    Scorer of seven goals in qualifying, the FC Dynamo Kyiv midfield player found the net in the semi-final against Spain. A constant threat with his perfectly-timed runs, ceaseless probings and powerful shot.

    Michael Delura (Germany)
    Already a regular at FC Schalke 04, Delura - pushed into a more advanced role in Deiter Eilts's side - showed the full range of his talents as his vision, dribbling and leadership qualities made him his country's standout performer.

    Johan Djourou (Switzerland)
    The Arsenal FC midfield player strongly resembles club-mate Patrick Vieira in stature and playing style. A substitute in Switzerland's first three matches, he produced a fine display after coming on against Ukraine and was his country's best player in the semi-final defeat by Turkey.

    Juanfran (Spain)
    A cool, confident and cultured midfield player who is never afraid to take on defenders and produce the unexpected. Plays in Luís Figo's position at Real Madrid CF and has the skills and tricks to invoke comparisons with the Portuguese winger. Scored a great goal in the Group B match with Turkey after a superb one-two with Victor, another who impressed for Spain.

    Ali Öztürk (Turkey)
    Best suited as a floating playmaker, Öztürk was devastating in first match against Poland, scoring a hat-trick. A hard-working midfield player who loves to run at defences, he is a constant menace with his well-timed runs from deep.

    Sezer Öztürk (Turkey)
    Surprisingly fast for a solid midfield player, his game is based around strong tackles and fine distribution. Offers regular support to the forwards and scored Turkey's first two goals in the semi-final with Switzerland with long-range free-kicks.

    Lukasz Piszczek (Poland)
    The striker added to his four goals in qualifying with another four in the finals, scoring twice against Turkey and also finding the net against Spain and Germany. A lively, intelligent forward who stood out as Poland's best player.

    Veroljub Salatic (Switzerland)
    Formed a formidable partnership with Henri Siqueira-Barras at the heart of the Swiss defence and scored the hosts' equaliser against Italy. Already a strong contender for a regular first-team place at Grasshopper-Club.

    Silva (Spain)
    The Valencia CF midfield player stood out even in a fine Spanish side with his willingness to run at defenders and powerful shot. He prefers to cut inside from the left to threaten, and has made the step up from the U17 team with no problems.

    Thomas Vermaelen (Belgium)
    Never afraid to bring the ball forward from the back, the AFC Ajax defender is comfortable in possession and is eager to start every attack for his own team with his long raking passes in addition to his strong tackling and fine positioning at the other end.

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