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Italy Euro 2024 squad: Who makes the cut? Which stars have missed out?

Italy Euro 2024 squad: Who makes the cut? Which stars have missed out?
© Reuters
Italy officially name their final 26-man squad ahead of defending their continental crown at Euro 2024 this summer, but who has made the cut and which star players have been left out?

Italy have officially confirmed their final 26-man squad ahead of defending their continental crown at Euro 2024 this summer.

UEFA confirmed last month that squad sizes have been increased from 23 to 26 players for this year's eagerly-anticipated tournament held in Germany, and all squads must include at least three goalkeepers.

Roberto Mancini was the man who led Italy to glory at Euro 2020, with the Azzurri beating England on penalties in the final at Wembley Stadium, but he opted to resign from his post in August last year in order to take up the Saudi Arabia job, and has since been replaced by Luciano Spalletti.

The 65-year-old, who has won six of his first nine matches in charge of the national team, was tasked with cutting down his preliminary 29-man squad to at least 26 by the June 7 deadline.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at Italy's 26-man squad for Euro 2024, who has been selected and who are the unfortunate players to miss out.

Who makes the cut? Any surprise inclusions in Italy squad?

Juventus' Nicolo Fagioli celebrates in March 2023© Reuters

One of the standout names to make a return to Spalletti's squad is Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli, who has only just made his comeback to competitive football following a seven-month ban for betting violations.

The 23-year-old was suspended in October last year by the Italian Football Federation after admitting to gambling on illegal platforms, and he was required to undergo treatment for a gambling addiction.

Fagioli made his long-awaited return to football when he came on as a second-half substitute in Juventus' 3-3 draw at Bologna in Serie A on Monday, and although he has only played eight times this season and has just two senior international caps for Italy, Spalletti has decided to call-up the highly-rated midfielder for Euro 2024.

Just two uncapped players have been included in the Azzurri's 26-man squad, including centre-back Riccardo Calafiori who has received his first senior call-up after an impressive 2023-24 season for Bologna.

The 22-year-old, who was recently nominated for Serie A Defender of the Year, was an integral figure in the Bologna side that finished fifth in Serie A and have qualified for the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

Italy's Matteo Darmian celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 17, 2023© Reuters

The other uncapped player to be selected is Napoli-owned Hellas Verona loanee Michael Folorunsho; the versatile 26-year-old midfielder chipped in with five goals and one assist in 34 league games last season.

Including those two uncapped players, Spalletti has named a total of 12 players in his preliminary squad who have made fewer than 10 international appearances for Italy, with eight of those earning no more than three caps including Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, Juventus defender Andrea Cambiaso and Torino's Raoul Bellanova.

There are only nine players who remain from Italy squad that triumphed at the Euros three years ago, including Paris Saint-Germain shot-stopper and Azzurri captain Gianluigi Donnarumma, Arsenal midfielder Jorginho and Inter Milan duo Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella.

Napoli trinity Alex Meret, Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Giacomo Raspadori, Roma midfielder Bryan Cristante and Juventus attacker Federico Chiesa have also been picked for successive Euros.

Elsewhere, Atalanta striker Gianluca Scamacca - a newly-crowned Europa League winner - has returned following a strong end to the 2023-24 season since being dropped from the Italy squad in March; the former West Ham United man contributed to 16 goals (12 goals, four assists) in his last 18 appearances for Atalanta in all competitions.

Which Italian stars will miss Euro 2024?

Atalanta's Giorgio Scalvini walks off the pitch after sustaining an injury on June 2, 2024© Reuters

Italy have suffered a double defensive injury blow ahead of this summer's tournament as highly-rated Atalanta BC youngster Giorgio Scalvini, 20, and experienced Inter Milan centre-back Francesco Acerbi, 36, have both been ruled out with respective ACL and groin injuries - Juventus' Federico Gatti has been called up to replace the latter.

Manuel Locatelli was a key cog in the Italy machine that won Euro 2020, but the Juventus midfielder is one of the surprise omissions from Spalletti's provisional squad for Euro 2024.

The 26-year-old, who has played 40 times for Juve in all competitions this season and has earned 28 international caps, posted a cryptic story on Instagram in response to being left out - a plain black image which may represent the midfielder's mood according to Sky Sports Italy correspondent Paolo Aghemo.

Spalletti initially named Lazio's Ivan Provedel, Torino's Samuele Ricci and Bologna's Riccardo Orsolini in his 29-man provisional squad, but it was confirmed on June 6 that all three players have been cut from the final list.

The Italy boss has also decided to leave out a number of experienced players including Lazio talisman Ciro Immobile. The 34-year-old was once a regular with the Azzurri, but he has only played three times for the national team in the last three years, largely due to injury, and having only scored seven goals in 30 Serie A outings this season, he has failed to make the cut for Euro 2024.

Atalanta's Davide Zappacosta, 31, Fiorentina's Giacomo Bonaventura, 34, Napoli's Matteo Politano, 30, and former PSG man Marco Verratti - 31 and now plying his trade with Qatari club Al-Arabi - have also been overlooked by Spalletti.

Aston Villa's Nicolo Zaniolo, Udinese's Lorenzo Lucca and Atalanta's Marco Carnesecchi were all called up to the Italy squad in March, but they have been left out for Euro 2024, as have Juventus' Moise Kean, Monza's Michele Di Gregorio, Sassuolo's Domenico Berardi and Leeds United's Wilfried Gnonto.

Meanwhile Tottenham left-back Destiny Udogie is unavailable for selection after he underwent surgery to his left quadriceps, while Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali is still serving his 10-month betting ban and is not able to return to football until August 27.

Italy's 26-man squad for Euro 2024:

Italy players pose for a team group photo before the match on June 4, 2024© Reuters

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham Hotspur)

Defenders: Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan), Raoul Bellanova (Torino), Alessandro Buongiorno (Torino), Riccardo Calafiori (Bologna), Andrea Cambiaso (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Inter Milan), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter Milan), Federico Gatti (Juventus), Gianluca Mancini (Roma)

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Nicolo Fagioli (Juventus), Michael Folorunsho (Hellas Verona), Davide Frattesi (Inter Milan), Jorginho (Arsenal), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)

Attackers: Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Mateo Retegui (Genoa), Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta BC), Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio)

Group and fixtures

Euro 2024 Group B final

June 15: Italy 2-1 Albania (8pm | Westfalenstadion, Dortmund)
June 20: Spain 1-0 Italy (8pm | Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen)
June 24: Croatia 1-1 Italy (8pm | Red Bull Arena, Leipzig)

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Italy's Riccardo Orsolini in action with Turkey's Mert Muldur on June 4, 2024
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