2003 winners Italy are back in the U19 Championships finals for the first time in four years.
UEFA European U19 Championships
Prague & Liberec, Czech Republic
14-26 July 2008
Click here for the full tournament details
Next month sees England U19s head to the Czech Republic for the 2008 UEFA European U19 Championships.
After qualifying through the Elite Round games in Belarus, England will face the hosts, Italy and Greece in Group B whilst current champions Spain, Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria contest Group A.
Over the next few days, we will look at the other teams in the competition and how they qualified and today we look at one of England’s Group B opponents, Italy.
The Azzurrini, winners of this competition in 2003, sealed their place in the finals with a fine 2-0 victory against France in the Elite Round.
France went into that game knowing that they needed a victory to pip the Italians to top spot in their group, but a goal from Cisco Roma’s Andrea Mazzarani in the 65th minute set them on their way and the same player added his and Italy’s second in added time.
The win meant they won all three of their games, with the other victories coming with 2-0 wins against Sweden and Switzerland.
It means that they will be in the competition at this stage for the first time in four years, something which has been a disappointment for a nation who are normally perennial challengers in youth football.