Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni has been forced to withdraw from Italy's final two Euro 2024 qualifying matches and has been replaced by Gianluca Mancini, the Italian Football Federation announced on Thursday.
Bastoni (21 caps, 1 goal) suffers from a muscle strain in his right calf, said the FIGC. Coach Luciano Spalletti called AS Roma defender Gianluca Mancini (11 caps) to replace him.
Spalletti had already lost, to injury, two experienced defenders who were in his initial group of 29, AC Milan captain Davide Calabria (7 caps) and Rafael Toloi (Atalanta Bergamo/14 caps). He also summoned, “as a precautionary measure” specified the FIGC, the Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi who has never yet worn the Nazionale jersey, because Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham/no selection) is slightly flu.
Italy, the reigning European champion, is third in its group before facing North Macedonia on Friday in Rome and Ukraine on Monday in Leverkusen (Germany).
She must pocket at least four points during these two matches to finish second and qualify directly for the German Euro. Any defeat will be crippling for the Nazionale which failed to qualify for the last two World Cups (2018 and 2022).