Euro 2020: Mancini names uncapped striker Raspadori in final Italy squad

Italy manager Roberto Mancini cut down his preliminary Euro 2020 group of 33 players to 28 on Sunday.

Roberto Mancini

Italy coach Roberto Mancini during a game against San Marino on May 28.   -  REUTERS

Roberto Mancini named Sassuolo’s uncapped striker Giacomo Raspadori in his final 26-man Italy squad for Euro 2020 on Tuesday, but there was no room for AS Roma defender Gianluca Mancini, Atalanta midfielder Matteo Pessina or Napoli winger Matteo Politano.

Raspadori will provide competition to Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and Torino’s Andrea Belotti for the striker spot after a breakout season in which the 21-year-old scored six goals in 27 Serie A games.

Italy manager Mancini cut down his preliminary group of 33 players to 28 on Sunday, when Paris St Germain striker Moise Kean was the highest-profile casualty.

Gianluca Mancini, Politano and Pessina were then left out of the final squad as Raspadori was re-called from the Under-21 setup.

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Brazil-born Atalanta defender Rafael Toloi, who made his Italy debut in March, was preferred to Mancini in defence, while Inter Milan midfielder Stefano Sensi was picked despite concerns over his fitness after sustaining a thigh injury on the final day of the season.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini will captain the side, one of seven survivors from Euro 2016 along with Alessandro Florenzi, Immobile, Salvatore Sirigu, Leonardo Bonucci, Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi.

Italy faces Turkey in the opening game of the tournament at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on June 11 before hosting Switzerland and Wales in the Italian capital to complete its Group A fixtures.

Mancini’s side thrashed San Marino 7-0 in the first of two warmup games last week, with the second to come against the Czech Republic in Bologna on Friday.

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The Azzurri breezed through qualifying, winning all 10 matches to top the group, and are currently unbeaten in 26 games, a run stretching back to September 2018.

Euro 2020 will mark the side's return to major tournament football five years on from a run to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016, after it failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

ITALY EURO 2020 SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino)

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea), Alessandro Florenzi (Paris St Germain), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta)

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Stefano Sensi (Inter), Marco Verratti (Paris St Germain)

Attackers: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo)

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