International friendlies: Luigi Di Biagio named interim coach for Italy's matches against Argentina and England
New interim Italy coach Luigi Di Biagio has organised his first training camp ahead of friendlies against Argentina and England, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on Thursday.
Milan: New interim Italy coach Luigi Di Biagio has organised his first training camp ahead of friendlies against Argentina and England, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on Thursday.
The three-day training camp from Monday, 26 February to Wednesday, 28 February will take place at Italy's Technical Centre at Coverciano in Florence.
Di Biagio will unveil the players he will call upon 23 February amid reports that legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who had announced his international retirement after the World Cup flop, could be called up.
Buffon, 40, had said he intends to retire from football altogether after this season, but has in recent weeks appeared to be considering playing on towards Euro 2022.
Without a full-time coach since Gian Piero Ventura was forced out after their shock World Cup elimination in November, four-time world champions Italy take on both England and Argentina in friendlies in March.
Di Biagio is an outsider amongst a star line-up of names being linked with the job including Roberto Mancini, Antonio Conte, Claudio Ranieri and Carlo Ancelotti.
Italy's national training centre at Coverciano will also open its gates to fans for the first time on 24 February ahead of its 60th anniversary next November.
The FIGC has invested five million euros in the centre with three new playing fields, changing rooms and an athletics track.
From last month, it also become a video assistant referee (VAR) centre of international excellence, thanks the installation of a latest generation simulator, where Italian referees and the other Federations are able to train.
FIFA's referees will soon be in Coverciano to prepare ahead of the 2018 World Cup starts in June.
Verratti suffered knee ligament damage last month which could rule him out of the group matches.
Euro 2020: Unpredictable at worst, versatile at best- Italy's ability to complete renaissance will depend on potency in front of goal
Although dynamic, the Azzurri are anything but perfect; the absence of an explicit goal-scorer to lead their lines is a glaring deficiency. While Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti have had seasons when they were prolific for their respective clubs, neither have really nailed that number nine position for their national side.
It’s a transformation that came sooner than expected under coach Roberto Mancini, who has found the right mix of younger players and veterans to create optimism around a team that had lost all of its confidence.