It’s been 20 years since the Italy women’s national team made a World Cup, but they are finally back on the biggest stage. A talented team that has climbed up the FIFA rankings to No. 16, and Italy’s goal is to make the knockout stage. None of these players have ever sniffed a World Cup match, so the hunger is there to represent their country. Tactically sound, Italy moves the ball well, can grind out results and is confident in competing with the best of teams this summer, but a tricky group including Brazil and Australia makes getting out of the group stage quite tricky.
For the tournament’s full schedule, standings and more click.
Here’s the roster, the team’s history at the World Cup and more.
Goalkeepers: Laura Giuliani (Juventus), Chiara Marchitelli (Florentia), Rosalia Pipitone (Roma)
Defenders: Sara Gama (Juventus), Elena Linari (Atlético Madrid), Alia Guagni (Fiorentina), Elisa Bartoli (Roma), Laura Fusetti (Milan), Lisa Boattin (Juventus), Linda Tucceri (Milan)
Midfielders: Valentina Bergamaschi (Milan), Aurora Galli (Juventus), Martina Rosucci (Juventus), Alice Parisi (Fiorentina), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus), Annamaria Serturini (Roma), Valentina Cernoia (Juventus), Manuela Giugliano (Milan)
Forwards: Daniela Sabatino (Milan), Cristiana Girelli (Juventus), Stefania Tarenzi (SSD Chievo Verona Valpo), Ilaria Mauro (Fiorentina), Valentina Giacinti (Milan)
World Cup appearances: Three
Best finish: Quarterfinals (1991)
Last World Cup: 1999
Sunday, June 9
Australia vs. Italy, 7 a.m. ET, FS1
Friday, June 14
Jamaica vs. Italy, Noon ET, Fox
Tuesday, June 18
Italy vs. Brazil, 3 p.m. ET, FS1
What to know
It’s been a long time coming. While the men’s national team is a powerhouse historically, the women’s team is just trying to find consistency. This nation did not qualify for the last four World Cups. Coached by Milena Bertolini, this team is defense first, a characteristic of most Italian teams. A long-time club coach, she’s made a smooth transition to the international stage, taking the job in 2017. Le Azzurre cruised through qualification, raising hopes that this team can land the country’s best ever finish. After two decades of watching the tournament, they can make their mark in 2019. Keep an eye on defender Sara Gama. She’s the captain of Italy and Juventus and a brick wall at the back.
How to watch
You can watch the entire tournament on fuboTV (Try for free).