Thursday, June 7, 2007

Let the games begin!

The countdown to the start of Euro2008 has begun. One year from today, the tournament will begin.

It is being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland. Host cities include Vienna, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt and Salzburg in Austria and Geneva, Basle, Berne and Zurich in Switzerland.

Let's get it started...
365 days to go
Host cities

Italy ahead of 1982 team

Italy is enjoying the glow from their recent success after five straight wins in Euro2008 qualifying. The 1982 World Cup team failed to qualify for the 1984 Euro tournament two years later. This group seems to have handled their success and the pressure to remain on top very well.

Team is better off than predecessors

Newcomer lifts Italy

Fabio Quagliarella, making his first start for Italy, netted two goals in the first half as Italy coasted to a 2-0 victory over host team Lithuania yesterday evening. He scored at the 31 minute mark and again right before halftime.

Head coach Roberto Donadoni appeared to make the right move after much discussion regarding Francesco Totti and the injured Luca Toni.
Big win for Italy
Quagliarella doubles up

The victory avenges an early tie with Lithuania in the first game of qualifying last Septmeber. That result lead to immediate calls for Donodoni's removal as head coach. After a loss to France in the next game, Italy has completed five straight victories to move into second place in Group B, two points behind France and one point ahead of Scotland. Only the top two teams will make it into the Euro2008 tournament from each group.

Quagliarella repeated the same recent pattern by scoring both of Italy's goals inthe game. In the previous two games, Luca Toni (v. Scotland) and Filippo Inzaghi (v. Faroe Islands) scored two goals for Italy. He plays in the Serie A for UC Sampdoria.
Euro2008 standings
Game photos

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Lithuania up next for the Azzurri

The journey for a birth in the Euro2008 Championships continues for the Italian National Team this evening as they take on Lithuania in Kaunas at 9:45 pm local time. A victory would put the Azzurri in a great position in Group B where they are currently in second place, two points behind group leader France.

The French side will host Georgia while Scotland will travel to the Faroe Islands in other games today. Italy will play France in the next round of games beginning on September 8.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Totti update

Francesco Totti has been the center of discussion on several fronts for the National team.

He recently announced that he believes he is ready to return to the Azzurri squad. He has not played for the national side since the World Cup Finals last July.
Totti ready for fall play?

However some have misinterpreted his comments when he said he would return for "important" matches while his teammates want to see more commitment from him.
Teammates want his full attention

Recently the FIGC and UEFA have warned him and others that they may not be able to play if they continue decline their country's call for international duty. Totti resisted requests to return to the national side until now. This may have hastened his desire to return.
Is Totti's time up?

Meanwhile he has decided not to have the metal plate in his leg removed. He broke his leg in the spring of 2006 during league play but he recovered sufficently to play effectively in the World Cup last year.
Totti says no to surgery

In Serie A play, Totti is on the verge of winning the "Golden Boot" award for the most goals scored by a European player. He has 26 goals compared to 23 by Van Nistelrooy of Real Madrid. Last years winner was Azzurri teammate Luca Toni of Fiorentina.
Totti tops in Europe for '07?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Inzaghi ices Faroe Islands

On a dreary and rainy day, Filippo "Pippo" Inzaghi scored two goals for the Azzurri as they defeated the Faroe Islands, 2-1, in a Euro2008 qualifier at Torshavn on Saturday evening. He scored the first goal in the 12th minute and netted his second, four minutes after halftime. The host team drew to within a goal when Rógvi Jacobsen scored at the 77th minute.
Italy 2 - Faroe Islands 1
Fox Sports recap
Qualifier games photos

The victory moves the Italians into second place with 13 points, two points behind Group B leader France at 15 points. France defeated Ukraine, 2-0, which dropped them into a to third place tie with Scotland at 12 points.
Group B Standings

Italy's next match is on Wednesday, June 6th against Lithuania at S. Darius and S. Girenas Stadium in Kaunas.

A rematch in Italy with France looms ahead on September 8th. That game will go a long way towards determining Italy's fate for the tournament in Switzerland and Austria next year.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Italy v. Faroe Islands today

Later this evening, the Azzurri continue their quest for a spot in next year's Euro2008 tournament in Austria and Switzerland when they take on the Faroe Islands in the capital city of Torshavn at 7:45 pm local time.

The Italians currently sit in fourth place with 10 points and follow a three-way tie for first place between France, Scotland and the Ukraine at 12 points in Group B. The Faroe Islands team is situated in last place in the group with zero points, having lost all six qualifying games to date.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Toni out for qualifiers

Italian star, Luca Toni will miss the two Euro2008 qualifiers with Faroe Islands and Lithuania beacuse of surgery on his foot.
Toni out for next two games

He also has signed a deal to join German giant Bayern Munich after the Serie A season has concluded. He decided to go abroad rather than remain in Italy out of respect to the ownership of the Fiorentina club.
Toni leaving Fiorentina