Group D: Italy

Not a classic Italy squad but write the four-time champions off at your peril

Group D: Italy

The team: It’s never wise to write off Italy ahead of a major tournament, as they proved by becoming the unexpected champions in 2006. And although they quite comfortably advanced from a tricky-looking qualifying group containing Denmark, Czech Republic and Bulgaria, they have failed to really impress for a number of years. Yet this is Italy, the winner of four FIFA World Cups. Write them off at your peril.

The coach: Cesare Prandelli

Italy of old were famous for their defensive stability, and while they’re still fairly solid, Cesare Prandelli has introduced a more attractive, expansive style, which makes sense considering the players at his disposal.

Key player: Mario Balotelli

Despite enduring a tough season at struggling AC Milan, Mario Balotelli can be a match-winner on any given day. While his discipline is sometimes questionable, you can’t deny his raw talent.

Facts

World ranking: 9
World Cup appearances: 17
Previous best: Winners in 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006
Qualification: Winner of group
Form (qualifiers): DWWWWDWWDD
Fixtures: June 15 vs. England; June 19 vs. Costa Rica; June 24 vs. Uruguay

Be the first to get all the latest Doha news, reviews and deals into your inbox by signing up to our free newsletter, click here to sign up.

More from Sport & Wellbeing, Sport, Fitness, World Cup

Meditation, fitness, healthy recipes, consultations and much more

You can complete the challenge from home for a chance to win prizes

Sun, sand, surf and much more

Mayo Clinic offers tips on growing happiness through mindfulness and a bit of practice

You can watch UEFA Euro 2020 and Copa America 2020 on any device

Newsletters

Follow us