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Women's World Cup: Italy Women's Team Profile

Italy have featured at the Women’s World Cup on three previous occasions, 1991, 1999 and 2019.

They have won six of their 12 matches at the World Cup finals and their best efforts were runs to the quarter-finals in 1991 and 2019.

Le Azzurre have never won a major tournament but they were runners-up at Euro 1993, losing 1-0 to Norway, and Euro 1997, losing 2-0 to Germany.

They will be up against Argentina, Sweden and South Africa in Group G.
 

Italy's World Cup record:

The 2023 World Cup campaign will be Italy’s fourth after qualifying in 1991, 1999 and 2019.

Le Azzurre qualified for the first Women's World Cup (China 1991) and reached the quarter-finals.

While in China they registered group stage wins over Chinese Taipei (5-0) and Nigeria (1-0) before exiting the tournament in the quarter-finals with a 3-2 extra-time reverse to Norway.

Italy failed to get past the group stage at USA 1999 and missed out on the next four World Cups until earning a spot at France 2019.

Italy registered three victories in France (the most they have achieved at any World Cup) but their adventure came to an end with a 2-0 quarter-final loss to the Netherlands in Valenciennes.
 

How Italy qualified:

Italy qualified for the tournament as UEFA Group G winners having won nine of their ten matches.

The battle for top spot boiled down to a head-to-head between Le Azzurre and Switzerland, who finished just two points worse off.

The Italians scored 40 goals during qualification and won nine of their ten matches without conceding a goal.

Both of the two goals they conceded were against Switzerland.

They lost 2-1 at home to the Swiss in Palermo but gained revenge with a 1-0 success in Thun which lifted them back into first place.
 

The Manager - Milena Bertolini:

Milena Bertolini has been in charge of the Italian women's team since August 2017.

Previously she has managed Italian clubs Foroni Verona, Reggiana and Brescia.

She led Foroni Verona to the 2002/03 Serie A title in her only season at the helm and steered Reggiana to Coppa Italia glory in 2009/10.

However, her most consistent success at club level was with Brescia, who she led to two Serie A titles (2013/14, 2015/16), two Coppa Italia wins (2014/15, 2015/16) and three Supercoppa Italiana triumphs (2014, 2015, 2016).

Bertolini's success earned her a shot at the national team job and she soon improved their fortunes.

Italy had missed out on four successive World Cups until Bertolini steered them to the quarter-finals at France 2019.
 

Confirmed Italy squad:

Italy are yet to confirm their squad for the Women's World Cup. Here are the 24 players selected for their friendly with Morocco on 1st July.

Goalkeepers: Francesca Durante, Laura Giuliani, Katja Schroffenegger, Rachele Baldi.

Defenders: Valentina Bergamaschi, Federica Cafferata, Maria Luisa Filangeri, Beatrice Merlo, Julie Piga, Benedetta Orsi, Chiara Robustellini, Angelica Soffia.

Midfielders: Valentina Cernoia, Giulia Dragoni, Marta Teresa Pandini, Emma Severini, Eva Schatzer, Flaminia Simonetti.

Forwards: Chiara Beccari, Agnese Bonfantini, Michela Catina, Benedetta Glionna, Martina Piemonte, Miriam Longo.
 

Italy's Key Players:

Bertolini called up a lot of younger players for the summer friendly against Morocco but she will be leaning heavily on some vastly experienced players when the World Cup starts.

Italy conceded just two goals in ten qualifying games and a lot of the credit goes to Milan goalkeeper Laura Giuliani.

Giuliani is well protected by a solid defence featuring experienced Roma right back Eilsa Bartoli, Juventus left back Lisa Boattin and centre-backs Sara Gama and Elena Linari, who ply their trade for Juventus and Roma.

Juventus pair Martina Rosucci and Valentina Cernoia are key players in midfield and there is fierce competition for places in attack.

Juventus striker Cristiana Girelli top-scored in qualifying with eight goals but her club-mate Arianna Caruso and Roma's Valentina Giacinti were not far behind with seven goals each.

However, 33-year-old Girelli is the star player in the squad and has a fantastic pedigree at club and international level.

Girelli's 53 international goals include a hat-trick in the 5-0 demolition of Jamaica in a group stage match at the 2019 World Cup.

And her club career includes high-scoring spells at Bardolini (60 goals in 66 games), Brescia (98 goals in 115 games) and Juventus (61 goals in 74 games).

Girelli was Serie A's female footballer of the year in 2020 and was inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2022.
 

Group fixtures and dates:

Group G

Italy vs Argentina, Auckland, 24th July 2023

Sweden vs Italy, Wellington 29th July 2023

South Africa vs Italy, Wellington, 2nd August 2023
 

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