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[2024 European Cup Italy] Italy Squad Undergoes Major Changes in 3 Years, Only 9 Players Remain from the 2021 Euro Championship-winning Team.

Just three years after clinching the European Championship title at Wembley in a penalty shootout against England, the Italian national team has undergone significant changes, as if it has traversed 30 years of long years. The team has undergone a complete overhaul, not only with the departure of head coach Mancini but also with six key players from the final - Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson, Verratti, Insigne, and Immobile - exiting the international stage, along with another 11 squad members.


In the current squad of 26 under coach Spalletti, only 9 remain from the European Championship-winning team: Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Jorginho, Barella, Cristante, Pessina, Raspadori, Bastoni, and Meret. The remaining 17 are new blood, such as Florenzi, Calafiori, Vica, Bellanova, Gatti, Fagioli, Buongiorno, Cambiaso, Zakagni, and Retsos, who are still unfamiliar to many fans.


Goalkeeper Donnarumma admitted, "Team turnover is normal. While the new faces are fresh, they have international experience, and they are the source of our strength." He also expressed nostalgia for his former teammates, emphasizing the team's current efforts to rebuild the unbreakable team cohesion of the past. Italy staged a comeback victory over Albania in their opening group match, injecting a significant boost of confidence into the team.


However, manager Mourinho is not optimistic about Italy's prospects, bluntly removing them from the list of contenders for the title, believing the team lacks the talent needed for victory. Coach Eriksson also expressed similar doubts.


In the face of external doubts, Spalletti remains unfazed, responding, "I have no comment on external comments. We will maintain our own judgment, stay confident yet humble, and be aware of our position and challenges. We have a team full of talents; the rise of newcomer Calafiori is an example, and his potential is limitless."


As a heavyweight figure in the team, Donnarumma was full of confidence even before the first victory, stating in an interview, "We are ready to defend the honor of the champions and will go all out to challenge for the title again."

The new players are also inspired by this positive attitude. Scamacca expressed his aspiration, saying, "I dream of following in the footsteps of the champions of the 2020 European Championship and the 2006 World Cup, who made history, and I also hope to leave my mark on this green field."


Despite undergoing a major overhaul, the Italian team remains a force to be reckoned with, embracing challenges with a new look and continuing the glorious chapter of the Azzurri.

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