Ahead of the 2024 Euro’s this summer, Italy boss Luciano Spalletti is bringing the Azzurri to the US for two friendlies where Italians will play Venezuela in Fort Lauderdale on March 21st and then three days later they will meet Ecuador at Red Bull arena in New Jersey.
The Azzurri will face Venezuela for the first time on March 21 at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium — the home of Lionel Messi — before travelling to New York to play Ecuador three days later.
Italy has played Ecuador twice, winning 2-0 at the 2002 World Cup and drawing 1-1 in a friendly in New York in 2005, the last time the Azzurri travelled to America.
Italy will use the matches as part of its preparation for its European Championship defense. Luciano Spalletti’s side is in a group with Spain, Croatia and Albania at Euro 2024, which kicks off on June 14 in Germany.
Italy USA Friendly Tickets
Italy, drawn in one of the toughest groups for Euro 2024, will face formidable opponents in Spain, Croatia, and Albania. Despite being in pot 4 during the draw, the Azzurri find themselves in a group that demands utmost preparation and tactical acumen.
Spain’s squad, under the watch of Athletic Bilbao’s goalkeeper Unai Simon, boasts a strong defense with potential starters like Aymeric Laporte, Robin Le Normand, Pau Torres, and Inigo Martinez. Spain’s midfield is anchored by Pedri and Rodri, but the absence of Gavi due to injury is notable. Other midfield contenders include Fabian Ruiz, Mikel Merino, Martín Zubimendi, and Brais Mendez, with Roro Riquelme, Koke, and Marcos Llorente also in contention.
In attack, captain Alvaro Morata is enjoying a stellar season at Atletico Madrid. Alongside him, Mikel Oyarzabal and Nico Williams are in good form, while Lamine Yamal faces competition for a squad spot. Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo are likely inclusions, but Ansu Fati’s injury woes could limit his chances.
Croatia, a consistent performer in the Euros, will be Italy’s final group stage opponent. The team is led by veteran Ivan Perisic, though his current injury raises doubts about his fitness for the tournament. Former Inter star Marcelo Brozovic now plays in the Saudi Pro League, and his adaptation to European football intensity will be crucial. Luka Modric, in his final international tournament, remains a key player alongside Manchester City’s Mateo Kovacic and Atalanta’s Mario Pasalic. However, Croatia’s attack, with Ante Budimir and Andrej Kramaric, may lack the necessary edge, despite Budimir’s recent form.
The clash with Albania is more than just a football match, given the significant Albanian community in Italy. Coached by Sylvinho, Albania typically employs a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation. Key players include former Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, Empoli’s Etrit Berisha, Lazio’s Elseis Hysaj, and Atalanta’s Berat Djimsiti. Midfielders Kristjan Asllani, Ylber Ramadani, and Nedim Bajrami are likely starters, with Chelsea’s Armando Broja being the team’s standout player. Jasir Asani, playing in South Korea, is another talent to watch, identified using advanced scouting methods.
Italy’s journey in Euro 2024 promises to be a test of their resilience and adaptability. Facing seasoned teams like Spain and Croatia and a determined Albanian side, the Azzurri must be at their best to navigate this challenging group and make a deep run in the tournament.