On Sunday, the qualifying draw for the 2020 European Championships were made. With so many of the team’s players representing European nations on the international stage, it was a draw that had the interest of many around the Roma dressing room. Euro 2020 will be the first shot at redemption in a major tournament for nations like Italy and the Netherlands, after failing to qualify for last summer’s World Cup. However, before they can get there, they’ll have to qualify. So let’s look at the draws for Roma’s players who will likely be involved.
The most interesting group, to most Roma fans, will be Group J. The last group on the list feature’s Roberto Mancini’s Italy side. Italy probably couldn’t have handpicked a more favorable qualifying group, after being drawn with Bosnia, Finland, Greece, Armenia, and Liechtenstein. The Azzurri will be favored to win the group, after they’ve begun to show signs of a resurgence under Mancini in recent months.
Mancini himself admitted that it was a “good draw” for Italy and that the main objective was to avoid Germany, saying, “Once we avoided Germany, any team we drew would be fine. We have to qualify and remember all games must be played and won so we climb the FIFA ranking and go into the next World Cup draw in a stronger position.”
Italy should feature the likes of Alessandro Florenzi and Lorenzo Pellegrini with the possibility of other players like Bryan Cristante, Stephan El Shaarawy, and Nicolo Zaniolo all getting call-ups. However, Group J will have a little more intrigue for Roma fans besides the aforementioned Italian contingent. The Azzurri were drawn with Bosnia and Greece; meaning Italy will face Edin Dzeko and Kostas Manolas. Perhaps, even more interesting for Roma fans will be Manolas marking Dzeko, when Greece and Bosnia square off. Group J will certainly be one to watch for Romanisti.
Group A will be headlined by England, as they look to continue the upward trajectory that they began at World Cup 2018 and continued in UEFA Nations League play. However, Roma fans may take a different interest in the group. They’ll look to see if Patrik Schick can tame the Three Lions and help the Czech Republic earn the results necessary to qualify as one of the top two finishers in, what looks to be, a straightforward group.
Group B will be headlined by Portugal with the likely return of Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo to his national side, after he skipped out on this fall’s Nations League. In Group B, Ronaldo will come up against one of Roma’s most experienced players; Aleksander Kolarov. Kolarov and company will look to make life difficult for Ronaldo and his teammates. Kolarov will be part of a Serbia side that will likely battle it out with Ukraine for the second qualifying spot in Group B.
With Germany lurking in Pot B after their dismal World Cup and Nations League results in 2018, Die Mannschaft was always going to be drawn into a group with another big team. The unlucky team, that was rewarded with Germany, was none other than the Netherlands. The Dutch, who like Italy, have begun a bit of a resurgence in recent months, actually topped a Nations League group featuring Germany and France; a group that saw Germany relegated to the second tier for the next Nations League. Germany will certainly be out for revenge. And if seeing Germany and the Netherlands square off wasn’t enough reason to watch this group, Romanisti will have added reason to tune in, if Justin Kluivert features for the Oranje.
We skip to Group E to find the next Roma player’s national team. Croatia enter qualifying as the group favorites ahead of Wales and Slovakia. The World Cup finalists will be out to prove that the World Cup was no fluke, and Roma youngster Ante Coric will be looking carve out a role on the Kockasti.
If you were looking for one of Roma’s more pleasant surprises to open the season, Robin Olsen, you’ll be able to find him between the sticks in Group F. The Swede has followed up an outstanding World Cup with some fine performances in giallorosso. Sweden will need Olsen to continue his fine form when it squares off against group favorites Spain.
Group J isn’t the only group that will see Giallorossi players go head-to-head, as Group H will feature Cengiz Ünder and Steven N’Zonzi. N’Zonzi’s defending World Cup champion French side will head the Group; Les Bleus will be favored to top Group H. Meanwhile, Ünder’s Turkish side will likely battle it out with Euro 2016 surprise package, Iceland, for second place.