With nine players trading their black and white stripes for Italy's traditional blue shirts, no Serie A club is better represented in Milena Bertolini's Azzurre squad than Juventus. And while Roma may have fallen short of their original goal of sending a half dozen players along for the ride, with four Giallorosse players making the cut, the upstart Italians will still feature plenty of Roman red and yellow as they prepare to set sail for Euro 2022 in England next week.
Not long after Roma put the finishing touches on their finest season to date, setting a club record for goals and points while finishing in second place and securing their first-ever Champions League berth in the process, six of Roma's best and brightest packed their bags for Italy's training camp. However, rather than chasing the Old Lady on the table, Roma traded their dogged league pursuit of Juventus for the more pleasant and pastoral surroundings of Coverciano (and later Castel Di Sangro) earlier this month, working side-by-side with their bitter rivals to improve upon Italy's shocking run to the quarterfinals of the 2019 World Cup. From club captain Elisa Bartoli to superstars Manuela Giugliano and Elena Linari to up-and-comers like Giada Greggi and Lucia Di Guglielmo, we were on the precipice of a RomAzzurre summer the likes of which we’ve never seen
But with Euro 2022 set to begin next week at Old Trafford, Bertolini faced a series of difficult decisions as she whittled Italy's roster down to 23 of the peninsula's finest talents. While they may have fallen short of the mark, Roma are still sending four* players to the European Championships.
Earlier this week, Bertolini unveiled Italy's official Euro 2022 roster, one that features Manuela Giugliano, Elisa Bartoli, Elena Linari, and Lucia Di Guglielmo, each of whom figures to see significant minutes as Italy attempts to battle their way out of a group that features Iceland, Belgium, and France. Narrowly missing the cut were midfielder Giada Greggi and winger Annamaria Serturini, who was a surprise inclusion to Bertolini's 2019 World Cup squad but failed to beat out the likes of former Roma forward Agnese Bonfantini this time around.
Apart from Roma's current standouts, the Azzurre ranks are swelling with former (and future) Roma players, including Bonfantini, striker Martina Piemonte, and midfielder Flaminia Simonetti. While that's all well and good, you may have noticed a few asterisks sprinkled throughout this piece, but rest assured, that lovely little piece of punctuation wasn't thrown in for laughs.
Star striker Valentina Giacinti, who figures to lead Italy's line this summer, is reportedly days away from inking a two-year deal with the Giallorosse. While nothing is concrete yet, the 28-year-old striker has been increasingly linked with a move to the capital over the past several weeks, with many speculating she'll be unveiled as soon as July 1st.
As much as we'll enjoy the show, with five key players potentially logging significant minutes for Italy this summer, it'll definitely be squeaky bum time around CdT as we simultaneously root for Italy and hope Roma's reps come home safe and sound.
Euro 2022 begins next week when England hosts Austria at Old Trafford on July 6th, but you'll have to wait four days to get your first glimpse of Italy, who face a tough French side in Rotherham on July 10th.
Be sure to stick with us as we follow Italy along their upset path this summer!