Italy women's national football team

The Italy women's national football team (Italian: Nazionale di calcio femminile dell'Italia) has represented Italy in international women's football since their inception in 1968. The team is controlled by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the governing body for football in Italy.

Nickname(s)Le Azzurre
(The Blues)
AssociationItalian Football Federation
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachMilena Bertolini
CaptainSara Gama
Most capsPatrizia Panico (196)
Top scorerPatrizia Panico
Elisabetta Vignotto (107)
Home stadiumVarious
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 14 (27 September 2019)[1]
Highest10 (July 2003)
Lowest19 (March 2017)
First international
 Italy 2–1 Czechoslovakia 
(Viareggio, Italy, 23 February 1968)
Biggest win
 Italy 15–0 Macedonia 
(Vercelli, Italy, 17 September 2014)
Biggest defeat
 Denmark 6–0 Italy 
(Ringsted, Denmark, 16 May 1982)
World Cup
Appearances3 (first in 1991)
Best resultQuarter-finals (1991, 2019)
European Championship
Appearances11 (first in 1984)
Best resultRunners-up (1993, 1997)

Formed in 1968, Italy took part in various unofficial international tournaments, hosting the first unofficial European Competition in 1969 and World Cup in 1970. Italy qualified for both the first World Cup in 1991, where they reached the quarter-finals, and the first European Championship. While Italy were runners-up in the European Championship in 1993 and 1997, they are yet to replicate similar success at the World Cup. In 2019, after a 20-year drought, Italy qualified for the World Cup where they equaled their previous best performance, reaching the quarter-finals.


1968–1984: Early history and unofficial tournaments

The women's national team played its first game on 23 February 1968, in Viareggio against Czechoslovakia. However, the national team was not yet part of the Italian Women's Football Federation, which was founded on 11 March in Viareggio. From the beginning, they took part in various continental and international tournaments in Europe and in the world, also achieving good successes. With the birth of the European Competition for Women's Football (1984), organized by UEFA, and later the Women's World Cup, organized by FIFA, the highest international women's competitions became equivalent to the men's competitions.

After its debut in 1968, the Italy national team took to the field to compete in other non-official international friendlies and tournaments, such as the European Competition in 1969 that saw it win the final over Denmark,[2] the World Cup in 1970 that saw it lose the final against the aforementioned Danish national team,[3] competitions both organized in Italy, and the Mundial in Mexico in 1971 where they achieved third place.[4] In 1979, Italy hosted, and participated in the unofficial European Competition, reaching the final again, which took place at the San Paolo Stadium in Naples, and in which Denmark triumphed again.[5] Between 1981 and 1988 there were five editions of the Mundialito, an international invitation-only tournament, one of the most prestigious events in the women's football scene before the advent of the World Cup. Apart from the first edition in 1981 that was organized in Japan, the next four were organized in Italy, where the Italy national team obtained three victories and two second places overall.[6] The triumphs arrived in 1981, winning the group, in 1984 overcoming West Germany in the final and in 1984 overcoming the United States in the final, while in the other two editions it lost the final against England.

1984–1991: First World Cup and European Championship

In 1984, UEFA organized the first European Competition. Italy won Group 3 of the qualifiers, being one of four teams to qualify for the final round.[7] Italy faced Sweden, being defeated both in the first leg, played at the Flaminio Stadium in Rome in front of 10,000 spectators, and in the return match in Linköping.[7] In 1987, Italy again gained access to the European Competition, winning Group 4 of the qualifiers. In the final stage organized in Norway, Italy were defeated in the semi-final against the host nation, but achieved third place by defeating England, with goals by Carolina Morace and Elisabetta Vignotto.[8] Italy were also confirmed in the 1989 edition, having passed the qualifying phase with a play-off win against France. Italy finished fourth in the tournament, having lost the semi-final against West Germany after a penalty shoot-out, as well as in the third place match against Sweden after extra time.[9]

In the 1991 European Championship, Italy was once again admitted to the four-team finals, after having won the qualifying play-off against the Sweden.[10] In the final tournament, Italy repeated what had happened two years before, losing both the semi-final against the German hosts and the final for third place against Denmark, although even with the fourth-place finish, gained access to the first edition of the World Cup organized by FIFA in the same year.[10] The world championship was organized in China, as Italy was drawn into Group 3 together with Germany, Chinese Taipei and Nigeria.[11] Italy ended the group in second place with two victories against Taipei and Nigeria and a defeat against Germany; all four goals for the team came from Carolina Morace. Italy advanced to the quarter-finals, where they were defeated by Norway 3-2 after extra time.[11]

1993–1999: Twice European Championship runners-up

The 1993 European Championship was hosted in Italy.[12] After defeating England in the final play-off match, Italy overcame Germany in the semi-finals after a penalty shoot-out. In the final, played at the Manuzzi Stadium in Cesena, Italy was defeated 1–0 by Norway.[12] Norway also denied Italy a place at the 1995 European Championship, with a 7–3 aggregate loss in the qualifying play-offs. Consequently, Italy also didn't qualify for the 1995 World Cup.

Italy participated in the 1997 European Championship, with the number of teams participating in the competition increasing from four to eight. In Group B, Italy defeated Norway and drew against Denmark and Germany, still achieving first in the group advancing to the knockout stage.[13] In the semi-final Italy beat Spain 2–1, but in the final, were defeated 2–0 by Germany.[13] In 1998, Italy qualified for the World Championship for the second time. The 1999 edition took place in the United States, with Italy being drawn in Group B along with Brazil, Germany and Mexico. After a 1–1 draw against Germany in the debut match, Italy lost 2–0 to Brazil, and ended the group with a 2–0 victory over Mexico; Italy finishing third in the group and were eliminated.[14]

2000–2011: Decline

With the beginning of the 2000s, a decline in the performance of the Italy national team began. At the 2001 European Championship, Italy, coached by Carolina Morace, were eliminated in the group stage due to a worse goal difference compared to Norway.[15]

Four years later, at the 2005 European Championship, Italy finished last in its group with zero points, losing all three of their matches against Germany, Norway and France, conceding twelve goals overall.[16] Redemption came in the 2009 edition, with Italy defeating both England and Russia, advancing to the knock-out stage as second-placed in the group behind Sweden who had defeated them. In the quarter-finals, Italy faced Germany, where they lost 2–1; Germany would ultimately win their seventh continental title.[17]

Having failed to qualify for the 2003 and 2007 editions of the World Cup, Italy also failed to qualify for the 2011 edition in the intercontinental two-legged play-off between UEFA and CONCACAF. The United States won the first leg 1–0 in Padua with a goal by Alex Morgan in the fourth minute of added time, while they also won the second leg by a score of 1–0 in Bridgeview with a goal by Amy Rodriguez in the first half.[18]

2011–2017: Slim World Cup qualification miss

Italy qualified for the 2013 European Championship in Sweden by winning the qualifying group with nine victories out of ten matches. At the tournament, Italy was drawn in Group A with hosts Sweden, Denmark and Finland. With one win, one draw and one defeat, Italy advanced from the group stage to the quarter-finals in second place, but were defeated 1–0 by Germany.[19]

In the following two years, Italy, led by Antonio Cabrini, was involved in the qualification for the 2015 World Championship: despite eight victories out of ten games, including two record victories against Macedonia (11–0 and 15–0),[20] they finished in second place in Group 2 behind Spain, sending Italy to the play-offs. In the first round of the play-offs, Italy defeated Ukraine 4–3 on aggregate, but were defeated by the Netherlands 3–2 on aggregate in the final round of the play-offs.

Italy qualified for the 2017 European Championship second in its group behind Switzerland. At the European Championship, Italy finished in last place in Group B behind Germany, Sweden and Russia, despite the victory in the third game against Sweden.[21]

2017–present: First World Cup qualification in 20 years

On 8 June 2018, twenty years since their last participation, Italy qualified for the 2019 FIFA World Cup, winning its qualifying group with a game in hand.[22] In the group stage of the tournament, Italy won Group C, recording two victories against Australia (2–1) and Jamaica (5–0), which guaranteed advancement to the knockout stage, with Italy's defeat to Brazil (0–1) irrelevant to the final table. In the round of 16, Italy won 2–0 over China, advancing to the quarter-finals for the second time in their history.[23] However, with a 2–0 defeat to European Champions the Netherlands, Italy's World Cup journey came to an end on 29 June 2019.[24]

Competitive record

FIFA Women's World Cup 0000
UEFA Women's Championship 0213
Olympic Games 0000
Universiade 0000
Mediterranean Games 0 0 0 0

FIFA Women's World Cup

FIFA Women's World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
1991 Quarter-finals 6th of 12 420285
1995 Did not qualify
1999 Group stage 9th of 16 311133
2003 Did not qualify
2019 Quarter-finalsn/a 530294
2023 To be determined
TotalBest: quarter-finals 3/8126152012
* Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

UEFA Women's Championship

UEFA Women's Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
1984 Semi-finals n/a 2 0 0 2 3 5
1987 Third place 3rd of 4 2 1 0 1 2 3
1989 Fourth place 4th of 4 2 0 1 1 2 3
1991 Fourth place 4th of 4 2 0 0 2 1 5
1993 Runners-up 2nd of 4 2 0 1 1 1 2
1995 Did not qualify
1997 Runners-up 2nd of 8 5 2 2 1 7 6
2001 Group stage n/a 3 1 1 1 3 4
2005 Group stage n/a 3 0 0 3 4 12
2009 Quarter-finals n/a 4 2 0 2 5 5
2013 Quarter-finals n/a 4 1 1 2 3 5
2017 Group stage n/a 3 1 0 2 5 6
2021 To be determined
Total Best: runners-up 11/12 32 8 6 18 36 56
* Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Recent results and matches

  Win   Draw   Loss



Current squad

The following 23 players were called up for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.[25]
Caps, goals and player numbers are correct as of 29 June 2019 after the match against the Netherlands.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Laura Giuliani (1993-06-06) 6 June 1993 40 0 Juventus
12 1GK Chiara Marchitelli (1985-05-04) 4 May 1985 40 0 Florentia
22 1GK Rosalia Pipitone (1985-08-03) 3 August 1985 3 0 Roma

3 2DF Sara Gama (captain) (1989-03-27) 27 March 1989 101 5 Juventus
5 2DF Elena Linari (1994-04-15) 15 April 1994 34 0 Atlético Madrid
7 2DF Alia Guagni (1987-10-01) 1 October 1987 67 5 Fiorentina
13 2DF Elisa Bartoli (1991-05-07) 7 May 1991 51 1 Roma
16 2DF Laura Fusetti (1990-10-08) 8 October 1990 0 0 Milan
17 2DF Lisa Boattin (1997-05-03) 3 May 1997 14 0 Juventus
20 2DF Linda Tucceri (1991-04-04) 4 April 1991 8 1 Milan

2 3MF Valentina Bergamaschi (1997-01-22) 22 January 1997 20 3 Milan
4 3MF Aurora Galli (1996-12-13) 13 December 1996 28 4 Juventus
6 3MF Martina Rosucci (1992-05-09) 9 May 1992 37 1 Juventus
8 3MF Alice Parisi (1990-12-11) 11 December 1990 46 5 Fiorentina
11 3MF Barbara Bonansea (1991-06-13) 13 June 1991 54 19 Juventus
15 3MF Annamaria Serturini (1998-05-13) 13 May 1998 1 0 Roma
21 3MF Valentina Cernoia (1991-06-22) 22 June 1991 36 6 Juventus
23 3MF Manuela Giugliano (1997-08-18) 18 August 1997 26 3 Milan

9 4FW Daniela Sabatino (1985-06-26) 26 June 1985 49 21 Milan
10 4FW Cristiana Girelli (1990-04-23) 23 April 1990 56 31 Juventus
14 4FW Stefania Tarenzi (1988-02-29) 29 February 1988 3 1 ChievoVerona Valpo
18 4FW Ilaria Mauro (1988-05-22) 22 May 1988 28 8 Fiorentina
19 4FW Valentina Giacinti (1994-01-02) 2 January 1994 25 4 Milan

Previous squads


Year(s) Manager
1969–1971 Giuseppe Cavicchi
1972–1978 Amedeo Amadei
1979–1981 Sergio Guenza
1981–1982 Paolo Todeschini
1982–1984 Enzo Benedetti
1984–1989 Ettore Recagni
1989–1993 Sergio Guenza
1993–1995 Comunardo Niccolai
1995–1997 Sergio Guenza
1997–1998 Sergio Vatta
1999 Carlo Facchin
1999–2000 Ettore Recagni
2000–2005 Carolina Morace
2005–2012 Pietro Ghedin
2012–2017 Antonio Cabrini
2017– Milena Bertolini

All-time records

Head-to-head record

  Positive balance (more wins than losses)
  Neutral balance (as many wins as losses)
  Negative balance (more losses than wins)

The following table shows Italy's all-time official international record per opponent:

Last updated: Italy vs Netherlands, 29 June 2019. Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.[26]

FIFA rankings

Below is a chart of Italy's FIFA ranking from 2003 to the present.[27]

See also


  1. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  2. "Coppa Europa per Nazioni (Women) 1969". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  3. "Coppa del Mondo (Women) 1970". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  4. "Mundial (Women) 1971". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  5. "Inofficial European Women Championship 1979". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  6. "Mundialito (Women) 1981-1988". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  7. (14 July 1991). "Europeo femminile 1991 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  8. (14 March 1987). "Europeo femminile 1987 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  9. (2 July 1989). "Europeo femminile 1989 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  10. (14 July 1991). "Europeo femminile 1991 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  11. "Women's World Cup 1991 (China)". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  12. (4 July 1993). "Europeo femminile 1993 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  13. (12 July 1997). "Europeo femminile 1997 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  14. "Women's World Cup 1999 (USA)". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  15. (7 July 2001). "Europeo femminile 2001 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  16. (19 June 2005). "Europeo femminile 2005 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  17. (10 September 2009). "Europeo femminile 2009 - Storia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  18. Longman, Jeré (27 November 2010). "U.S. Tops Italy to Earn Spot in Women's World Cup". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  19. (1 August 2013). "UEFA Women's EURO 2013 - History". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  20. "Italdonne, il "Piola" porta fortuna: travolta la Macedonia". (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  21. (6 August 2017). "UEFA Women's EURO 2017 - History". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  22. "Trionfo Italia femminile, va al Mondiale: Portogallo battuto 3-0". (in Italian). 8 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  23. "Italia, sei bellissima: 2-0 alla Cina e quarti di finale". La Gazzetta dello Sport - Tutto il rosa della vita (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  24. Bull, J. J. (29 June 2019). "Holland reach first ever Women's World Cup semi-final with two headed goals against Italy". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  25. "Ecco le 23 convocate per il Mondiale: il 2 giugno la partenza per la Francia" [Here are the 23 convened for the World Cup: on June 2nd the departure for France] (in Italian). Italian Football Federation. 24 May 2019.
  26. "Statistiche Gare" (in Italian).
  27. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - Associations - Italy - Women's". Retrieved 25 June 2019.
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