Following their dream run through the quarterfinals of the 2019 World Cup, women's football in Italy has entered a bit of a golden period. Drawing talents like Brazilian playmaker Andressa Alves and Spanish midfielder Veronica Boquete from abroad, and with the promise of professionalization looming, Italy's domestic league is on the rise. Meanwhile, talents like Sara Gama, Valentina Giacinti, Cristiana Girelli and the Roma trio of Elisa Bartoli, Manuela Giugliano, and Elena Linari have made the Italian National Team a forced to be reckoned with in European football.
And that reckoning took on new meaning today as the Azzurre officially qualified for the European Champions next summer in England after trouncing Israel in a 12-0 rout.
With a dozen goals scored, it's almost impossible to believe that no single player scored a hattrick, but Valentina Giacinti, Barbara Bonansea, and Daniela Sabatino each scored twice, while Roma midfielder Manuela Giugliano scored the 12th and final goal in the 90th minute.
Roma's representatives were quick to take to Instagram to celebrate the Azzurre's achievement as well.
Euro 2022, which was of course originally slated to be played this summer, was rescheduled due to the pandemic, as well as the subsequent postponements of the men's Euro 2020 tournament and last summer's Olympic games, both of which knocked everything on the international calendar back almost a year. Euro 2022 kicks off in England on July 6, 2022, at Old Trafford in Manchester and will conclude with the final on July 31st at Wembley Stadium in London.
Azzurre and Roma standouts Elisa Bartoli, Manuela Giugliano, and Elena Linari are veritable locks to make the cut for Euro 2022, while Annamaria Serturini should reprise her World Cup 2019 role off the bench. Roma has a gaggle of U-23 players like Giada Greggi, Tecla Pettenuzzo, Agnese Bonfantini, and Angelica Soffia who are likely longshots at this point but could force National Team manager Milena Bertolini's hand with strong performances over the next 16 months.
With solid coaching, top tier talent, and depth for days, Italy should once again be primed for a few upsets and could even be considered a longshot candidate to topple favorites like England, Germany, France, and the Netherlands—the same squad that defeated Italy in the 2019 World Cup quarterfinals—for the title.
Stick with us as we follow Italy's march to the Euros and beyond, but no matter how they fare next summer, Italy is definitely on the rise.