Italy U20 – Match Report VS Mexico 23/05/19

Youth International Tournament Ratings:

A – Impressive performance, definitely rewatch
B – Decent, would rewatch
C – Okay, could rewatch
D – Wouldn’t rewatch

Salvatore Esposito

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 07/10/2000
  • Current Club: SPAL
  • Career: Brescia Calcio (Y), Inter Milan (Y), SPAL
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Central Defensive
  • Preferred foot: Right

Esposito played as one of three central midfielders in this game, looking to dictate the play when his team was in possession and find progressive passes into the more advanced midfielders or strikers. Esposito demonstrated excellent close control and crisp clean passing with the ball at his feet – playing a key role in transitional phases for the Italy U20 team. He was the most creative player in the Italian side on the day, frequently showing good composure when under pressure to move his team up the pitch. Despite not being one of the larger players physically, he played an important role in the structured Italian defensive set-up as he guided his side to victory.

Rating: A

Davide Frattesi

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 22/09/1999
  • Current Club: Sassuolo
  • Career: Roma (Y), Sassuolo, Ascoli (L)
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Frattesi played alongside Esposito in the middle of the field for the young Italian side, however, he played a slightly more advanced role – supporting the strikers when necessary. The young midfielder showed impressive vision at times to create opportunities for his teammates. What was most impressive about Frattesi was his level of footballing maturity, frequently demonstrating that he has a football brain. It was clear that Frattesi was constantly aware of the movements of other players, and used his body well to retain possession. He was able to round off his performance with a well taken goal in which he volleyed home with great technique.

Rating: A

Gianluca Scamacca

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 01/01/1999
  • Current Club: Sassuolo
  • Career: Roma (Y), PSV Eindhoven (Y), Sassuolo, Cremonese (L), PEC Zwolee (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Second Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Scamacca played an important role for the side as he formed half of a strike partnership in Italy’s 5-3-2 formation. He has a strong and athletic build and also stands tall and constantly posed a physical threat to the opposition defence. He was able to run the channels well when required and worked very hard to chase down loose balls and pressure the opposition. Technically, his hold up play impressed, allowing his team to progress up the pitch. On occasion there was evidence of some loose passes and he was unable to get his name on the scoresheet despite having a few opportunities. Overall, a decent performance.

Rating: B

Luca Ranieri

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 23/04/1999
  • Current Club: Fiorentina
  • Career: Fiorentina
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary Position: Centre Half
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing on the left of the back three, Luca Ranieri provided the best performance from any of the three central defenders on display for Italy. He demonstrated a good sense of when his side were in danger of conceding and often made good decisive decisions to prevent the opposition creating an opening. Ranieri adopted a no nonsense approach to the game and rarely took any risks with the ball at his feet, perhaps lacking some composure at times. Physically he is not very tall nor stocky but played to his strengths well to ensure few weaknesses were exposed. He showed good instincts to grab a goal for his team which proved to be vital.

Rating: C

Andrea Pinamonti

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 19/05/1999
  • Current Club: Inter Milan
  • Career: Chievo (Y), Inter Milan, Frosinone (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

The other half of Italy’s strike partnership, Andrea Pinamonti put in a decent performance against Mexico. Similarly to his strike partner, Pinamonti is strong and tall in stature, whilst also retaining some athleticism that allows him to pose both a physcial threat and run channels. He showed glimpses of quality in possession in the final third, but failed to convert some good opportunities and his first touch would occasionally let him down. However, he retained a good awarensss of the players around him and linked play up well with his back to goal. Pinamonti worked hard for the team to give his teammates an option and press the ball.

Rating: C

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