To see there be a healthy Juventus Women representation on the Italy women’s national team roster is nothing new since the Bianconere came to be five years ago. But the impressive thing about it all is that we know how national teams can change so much over that period of time, with players coming and going, injuries happening and simply age potentially catching up to some of the most-capped players there are.
For the latest major tournament in which the Azzurre will take part in, there’s still very much a heavy dose of Bianconere blood within the squad.
Nine of the 23 players that manager Milena Bertolini announced as part of her final Women’s Euro 2022 squad are employed by the current Italian domestic treble holders. For some of the nine, this will be the chance to impress on the big stage following the quarterfinal showing at the Women’s World Cup in 2019. For others like Arianna Caruso, Martina Lenzini and Agnese Bonfantini, this is the first major tournament at the senior level they will get to participate in. There is a very good chance that much of Bertolini’s starting lineup is represented by Juventus Women players just as it was in 2019.
The nine Juventus Women players who will be with Italy at the Euros are: Sara Gama, Lisa Boattin, Martina Lenzini, Arianna Caruso, Valentina Cernoia, Martina Rosucci, Barbara Bonansea, Agnese Bonfantini and Cristiana Girelli.
And for those who like to have fun with numbers like myself, how nice is it that three of them are defenders, three of them are midfielders and three of them are forwards.
Some of the other names on the squad are familiar as well as they played major roles in Juventus’ first four titles, namely Laura Giuliani in goal and Yaya Galli, who should have a very good chance at being one Italy’s best midfielder at this summer’s tournament.
But a lot of Italy’s success this summer will depend on how players who call Juventus Women home. Cristiana Girelli is expected to lead the line just as she did at the Women’s World Cup. Sara Gama, easily Italy’s most experienced player and the captain at both club and country level, will lead the defense in what will likely be one of her last major tournaments. Hell, Boattin and Caruso could very well be breakout star candidates after having two of the best individual seasons of any Juventus Women player this past year.
Basically, when one club makes up nearly half of a country’s squad, you’re going to have your fingerprints on a lot of what the team is able to do.
And if it’s anything like what happened in 2019 during the Women’s World Cup in France when Italy was one of the biggest surprises in the tournament, then the Bianconere contingent with the Azzurre will be having quite a bit of fun this summer.
Italy begins play at the Women’s Euros when it faces France — the odds-on favorite to win Group D — on Sunday, July 10, at New York Stadium in Rotherham, United Kingdom. The Azzurre will then face Iceland and Belgium on July and July 18, respectively.