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Tecla Pettenuzzo Earns First Italy Call-Up

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Roma's 20-year-old defender earns her first Azzurre call-up for Italy's upcoming Euro 2022 qualification matches against Israel and Bosnia and Herzegovina

AS Roma v Pink Bari - Women Serie A Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

Initially slated for next summer in England, the 13th edition of the UEFA Women’s European Championship has been postponed until July 2022 thanks to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. While that’s potentially bad news for some of the game’s older players, who are essentially losing a year of their remaining peak international years, it may actually benefit many younger and/or fringe internationals who now essentially have an extra year to impress their respective national team coaches.

One player already benefiting from this delay is Roma's 20-year-old central defender Tecla Pettenuzzo, who just received her very first national team call-up from Italy manager Milena Bertolini ahead of Italy's Euro 2022 qualification matches against Israel and Bosnia Herzegovina, set for September 17th and 22nd, respectively.

Italy currently sit atop Group B with a perfect 6-0 record and have a three-point lead over second place Denmark.

As you can see, Pettenuzzo was one of 11 defenders summoned by Bertolini for these qualification matches and will be joined by Roma teammates Elisa Bartoli and Manuela Giugliano, as well as Flaminia Simonetti, a Roma midfielder currently on loan with Inter Milan.

Given Roma's sluggish start to the season, particularly in attack, it's no shock to see forwards Agnese Bonfantini and Annamaria Serturini missing from this list, but this is a banner day for Pettenuzzo, who only has seven caps at the youth level. But thanks to her rapid maturation over the past 18 months, Pettenuzzo has shot up the ranks at the club level, essentially stealing a starting position with Roma last season, and now at the international level as well.

In addition to Pettenuzzo, Giugliano and Bartoli, Roma are sending three more players on international duty next week: Vanessa Bernauer (Switzerland), Kaja Erzen (Slovenia) and Camelia Ceasar (Romania).