Spalletti disappoints trio and presents the final squad for titleholder Italy

Luciano Spalletti does not need Riccardo Orsolini (Bologna), Ivan Provedel (Lazio), and Samuele Ricci (Torino) for the Euros this summer. The trio has been dropped from Italy's final squad. Previously, Francesco Acerbi and Giorgio Scalvini were already excluded from the 30-man preliminary squad due to injuries.

Spalletti disappoints trio and presents the final squad for titleholder Italy Embed from Getty Images

That means a fairy tale for Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori, who received his first invitation to the Italian national team and even made it to the final squad of the reigning European champions.

Juventus defender Federico Gatti was added to the squad after the injuries to Acerbi and Scalvini and also survived the final cut. This marks a significant milestone for both young defenders, who have shown considerable promise and determination to secure their places in the national team.

Goalkeeper Provedel was seen by Spalletti as the weakest of the four goalies in the preliminary squad, although it didn't help that he suffered an ankle injury towards the end of the season. Provedel’s exclusion highlights the competitive nature of the goalkeeper position within the Italian squad, where only the very best can secure a spot.

Orsolini performed poorly in the friendly against Turkey (0-0), and Ricci has only played fifty minutes as an international and was not included in the squad "for quality reasons." These decisions reflect Spalletti's commitment to fielding the strongest possible team, even if it means making tough choices and leaving out talented players who may not yet be fully ready for the international stage.

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile (34) and Marco Verratti (31), who moved to Qatar, were not in the preliminary squad and therefore logically are not in Spalletti's final group either. Immobile and Verratti's exclusions underscore a shift towards younger, perhaps more dynamic options, as Italy looks to build a team capable of defending their European title successfully.

Italy will play another friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina before the Euros, providing Spalletti an additional opportunity to fine-tune his squad and make any last-minute adjustments. These preparatory matches are crucial for building team chemistry and ensuring that all players are in peak condition heading into the tournament.

The two-time European champions will face Albania, Spain, and Croatia in the group stage of the Euros. This group presents a mix of challenges, with Spain being a formidable opponent known for their technical prowess, while Albania and Croatia offer their own unique threats. Italy’s preparation and squad selection will be vital as they navigate these group stage matches.

Spalletti's decisions reflect a blend of experience and youth, aiming to strike a balance that can lead Italy to success. The inclusion of new talents like Calafiori and Gatti alongside seasoned players signifies a strategic approach to maintaining Italy’s competitive edge. Fans will be eagerly watching to see how this mix of players performs on the European stage, hoping for another victorious campaign.

Updated: 04:48, 6 Jun 2024

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