Italy National Soccer Team - the best personalized free web-based Email en en Italy National Soccer Team Diego Costa, Pedro to lead Spain at Macedonia WCup qualifier MADRID (AP) — Recently crowned English champions Diego Costa and Pedro Rodriguez will lead Spain's attack in a World Cup qualifier next month. The Chelsea scorers were chosen by coach Julen Lopetegui on Friday when he announced his squad for Spain's June 11 qualifier at Macedonia. Four days prior, Spain hosts Colombia in a friendly. Die... Fri, 19 May 2017 11:09:00 GMT 2017-05-19T11:09:00Z Infantino slams racist 'idiots,' to speak to victim Muntari MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino has decried the "idiots" who directed monkey chants at Sulley Muntari and offered to speak to the Ghanaian soccer player who was initially banned for protesting against racism. Muntari said he was treated like a "criminal" after being shown two yellow cards when he walked off the field during a Serie ... Tue, 09 May 2017 10:29:00 GMT 2017-05-09T10:29:00Z Racism scars European soccer with sanctions still often weak As monkey chants boomed around the Italian soccer stadium, Sulley Muntari became more incensed. The Ghanaian player sought out the referee and asked for intervention to silence the fans hurling racist abuse. Referees have the power to stop games and have warning messages amplified at stadiums. Nothing like that happened, though, on Sunday during the Serie A game on the islan... Thu, 04 May 2017 16:47:00 GMT 2017-05-04T16:47:00Z New Serie A season to start Aug. 20, winter break moved MILAN (AP) — The 2017-18 Serie A will run from Aug. 20 to May 20. Italy coach Giampiero Ventura hoped to the league would begin on Aug. 13 to give his players more competitive games before the crucial World Cup qualifier against Spain on Sept. 2. However, the league governing body announced on Thursday it would stick with the traditiona... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 17:03:00 GMT 2017-04-13T17:03:00Z Genoa defender Izzo given 18-month ban in match-fixing case ROME (AP) — Genoa defender Armando Izzo has been handed an 18-month ban from soccer in a match-fixing scandal. The 25-year-old Izzo was given the suspension and a fine of 50,000 euros ($53,000) for failing to report match-fixing during his time at lower-league club Avellino. The Italian federation's prosecutor had asked for a ban of six... Wed, 12 Apr 2017 11:17:00 GMT 2017-04-12T11:17:00Z Down and nearly out: Dutch soccer in decline AMSTERDAM (AP) — Last year, their team absent from the European Championship, Dutch soccer fans sat drinking beer overlooking Marseille's Old Port under an orange banner which read: "We only do World Cups." That seems like wishful thinking now. Halfway through its qualifying campaign for the 2018 tournament, the Netherlands -- a finalist and semifinalist ... Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:56:00 GMT 2017-03-29T11:56:00Z Lopetegui off to promising start with Spain's national team MADRID (AP) — Julen Lopetegui is proving to be a worthy replacement for Vicente del Bosque. The Spain coach, unbeaten since taking over Del Bosque's job in July, has quickly put the national team back on track as a top European contender. Spain has won six of its eight games under Lopetegui, the latest a convincing 2-0 victory over Fran... Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:57:00 GMT 2017-03-29T10:57:00Z Spain benefits from video technology in 2-0 win over France The benefit of using video referees during soccer games was highlighted Tuesday when Spain rightly profited from two decisions made away from the field of play to beat France 2-0 in an international friendly in Paris. FIFA, the game's governing body, has been using video assistant referees on a trial basis since last year and this was the first time that ... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 22:31:00 GMT 2017-03-28T22:31:00Z No fairytale start for Grim: Italy beats Netherlands 2-1 AMSTERDAM (AP) — Italy beat the Netherlands 2-1 in a friendly Tuesday in caretaker Dutch coach Fred Grim's first and possibly only match in charge. The Dutch went down playing positive attacking football, unlike the meek capitulation in Saturday's 2-0 World Cup qualifier defeat to Bulgaria that cost Grim's predecessor Danny Blind his job. ... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:55:00 GMT 2017-03-28T21:55:00Z Albania denounces 'extremist acts' of its fans in Italy TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's soccer federation has strongly denounced the incident that halted the World Cup Group G qualifier with Italy for nearly nine minutes on Saturday. During the match, which was won by Italy 2-0, a group calling itself Illyrian Elite threw flares onto the pitch. "Such totally extremist actions from the group... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:55:00 GMT 2017-03-25T17:55:00Z Spain and Italy level atop group as are Serbia and Ireland Halfway through European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, there is little to divide some of the teams. Spain and Italy continued their tense battle for top spot in their group with comfortable victories on Friday. The two countries remained tied atop Group G after Spain defeated Israel 4-1 in Gijon, while Italy beat Albania 2-0 in Pal... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:57:00 GMT 2017-03-25T07:57:00Z Spain and Italy level atop group as are Spain and Ireland Halfway through European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, there is little to divide some of the teams. Spain and Italy continued their tense battle for top spot in their group with comfortable victories on Friday. The two countries remained tied atop Group G after Spain defeated Israel 4-1 in Gijon, while Italy beat Albania 2-0 in Pal... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:37:00 GMT 2017-03-24T23:37:00Z Spain and Italy win home games to say in front in Group G GIJON, Spain (AP) — Spain and Italy both scored early on their way to comfortable home victories that extended their lead in Group G of European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Spain defeated Israel 4-1 in Gijon, while Italy beat Albania 2-0 in Palermo in a match halted for nearly nine minutes after Albania fans threw flares onto the pitch. ... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:49:00 GMT 2017-03-24T22:49:00Z Italy match halted for 9 mins as Albania fans throw flares PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — The World Cup qualifier between Italy and Albania was suspended for nearly nine minutes after Albania fans threw flares onto the pitch during Friday's match in Palermo. The match was stopped in the 57th minute and the referee sent both teams into the dressing room, with Italy winning 1-0. The referee had already s... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:19:00 GMT 2017-03-24T21:19:00Z Italy goalkeeper Buffon to play his 1,000th match PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon will mark his 1,000th appearance as a professional in the World Cup qualifier against Albania on Friday. Buffon made his debut at the age of 17 in 1995, playing for Parma, before moving to Juventus in 2001. The goalkeeper has played for Italy for more than 19 years, having made his d... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:52:00 GMT 2017-03-23T18:52:00Z World Cup qualifying in Europe: State of play in groups LONDON (AP) — As World Cup qualifying reaches the midway point in Europe, The Associated Press looks at the state of the groups. The winners qualify automatically while the second-place teams go into playoffs. GROUP A France coach Didier Deschamps will be without the world's most expensive player against Luxembourg. ... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:18:00 GMT 2017-03-23T16:18:00Z Bonucci misses Italy training session with flu FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci has missed a national team training session with the flu, three days before the Azzurri's World Cup qualifier against Albania. The Juventus center back was absent from Tuesday's morning practice. Italy is already without Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, who is still recovering f... Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:15:00 GMT 2017-03-21T14:15:00Z Italy coach Ventura brings in youth to build team FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura is counting on his youngsters. Ventura has not been afraid to bring in new players since he took charge after the 2016 European Championship, including giving teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma his debut. "We all remember when I said there was a crop of youngsters who would need... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:42:00 GMT 2017-03-20T15:42:00Z Albania missing central defense in tough match with Italy TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania coach Gianni de Biassi will be missing his central defense when the team faces Italy in a World Cup qualifier. De Biassi named 23 players Monday but he will be without goalkeeper Etrit Berisha and central defender Berat Gjimshiti because of yellow cards. Central defender Mergim Mavraj is injured. The Alban... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 14:57:00 GMT 2017-03-20T14:57:00Z Italy coach Ventura calls up 4 new players to squad MILAN (AP) — Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has called up four new players to his squad for upcoming matches against Albania and the Netherlands. Bologna winger Simone Verdi, Atalanta defender Leonardo Spinazzola, Inter Milan defender Danilo D'Ambrosio and goalkeeper Alex Meret, who plays for Serie B side Spal, have been included for the first time. ... Sat, 18 Mar 2017 15:12:00 GMT 2017-03-18T15:12:00Z Shining at Chelsea, Pedro Rodriguez returns for Spain BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Chelsea running away from its challengers in the Premier League, forward Pedro Rodriguez has regained his spot on Spain's national team. Spain coach Julen Lopetegui picked Pedro on Friday for the country's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Israel and friendly at France. It is the first time the coach has included the 29-year-old Pedro since ta... Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:28:00 GMT 2017-03-17T14:28:00Z Netherlands coach names 2 new defenders in squad THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Netherlands coach Danny Blind named two new defenders Friday in his squad for a World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria and a friendly against Italy. Blind picked 17-year-old Ajax center back Matthijs de Ligt and Lazio defender Wesley Hoedt for his 25-man squad, looking to plug gaps left by a string of injuries to regulars such as Virgil van Dijk a... Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:54:00 GMT 2017-03-17T13:54:00Z Tavecchio re-elected as Italian football president ROME (AP) — Carlo Tavecchio was re-elected as president of the Italian football federation on Monday, beating Andrea Abodi in a close vote. Tavecchio won with 54 percent at the end of the third round of voting and will now serve a four-year term. "We now need to find the same strength with which we were divided to come together," Tavecc... Mon, 06 Mar 2017 17:46:00 GMT 2017-03-06T17:46:00Z Genoa defender Izzo could get 6-year ban for match-fixing ROME (AP) — Genoa defender Armando Izzo could be banned for six years in a match-fixing scandal. The Italian federation has asked for the suspension and a fine of 20,000 euros ($21,000) for Izzo, who was called up the Italian national team for the first time in November for the World Cup qualifying match against Liechtenstein and friendly against Germany. ... Fri, 03 Mar 2017 15:56:00 GMT 2017-03-03T15:56:00Z Stadio Olimpico could be home to Italian national team ROME (AP) — With Roma leaving the Stadio Olimpico and Lazio wanting to follow suit, the Italian national team could end up with a home of its own. Roma's long-delayed stadium plans were given the green light by Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi on Friday, prompting Lazio to say it wanted its own stadium, too. The president of the Italian Nation... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 14:38:00 GMT 2017-02-28T14:38:00Z Red cards could prevent Balotelli from rejoining Italy squad FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Mario Balotelli's chances of returning to Italy's national team have not been helped by three red cards in the French league. Italy team manager Gabriele Oriali reminded reporters Tuesday of the squad's code of ethics. Oriali says "there are a few clear rules that must be respected, and then there are the rules th... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:31:00 GMT 2017-02-21T12:31:00Z 'We are the best': Buffon and Casillas to resume rivalry It will be a meeting of goalkeeping greats when Gianluigi Buffon faces old rival Iker Casillas on Wednesday in the Champions League. And while both players may be reaching the end of their careers, Buffon and Casillas each still have something to prove in their 17th career meeting — this time in a match between Juventus and FC Porto. Th... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:42:00 GMT 2017-02-21T11:42:00Z Juve wins as Higuain, Buffon stand out on night for legends ROME (AP) — It seemed appropriate that Gonzalo Higuain and Gianluigi Buffon stood out on a night for legends. After Italy's all-time leading scorer Luigi Riva was honored before kickoff with the country's highest sports honor, Higuain scored twice and Buffon preserved a clean sheet with a spectacular save as Serie A leader Juventus won 2-0 at 10-man Cagliari on Sunday. ... Sun, 12 Feb 2017 22:23:00 GMT 2017-02-12T22:23:00Z Car with Luca Toni and Verona president attacked AVELLINO, Italy (AP) — Italy World Cup winner Luca Toni and the president of Serie B club Hellas Verona had their car attacked while traveling to a match Saturday in the southern town of Avellino. Toni, who is part of Verona's management team, says the aggressors mistook them for fans because club president Maurizio Setti was wearing a scarf with the team's colors. ... Sat, 11 Feb 2017 18:51:00 GMT 2017-02-11T18:51:00Z Italy honors Albania coach Gianni de Biasi as a Knight TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Italy has awarded Gianni de Biasi, an Italian who coaches the Albanian national soccer team, with the Medal of the Star, graded as a Knight, for promoting the country in the sport. An embassy statement Wednesday said Italian Ambassador Alberto Cutillo awarded the medal to De Biasi the previous evening "for his contribution to furthe... Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:08:00 GMT 2017-02-08T12:08:00Z