Italy’s defensive crisis deepens as injured Scalvini out of Euro 2024 squad, Gatti called up

AP , Monday 3 Jun 2024

Italy’s crisis in defense deepened Monday when Giorgio Scalvini was ruled out of the European Championship after he tore an ACL in Atalanta’s last match of the season.

Scalvini
Atalanta s Giorgio Scalvini celebrates scoring their side s second goal of the game during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Atalanta and Fiorentina at the Gewiss Stadium, in Bergamo, Italy. AP

The 20-year-old defender has been replaced in Italy’s provisional squad by Juventus counterpart Federico Gatti, the Italian soccer federation announced with the Azzurri kicking off their title defense in less than two weeks.

Gatti was already on standby after Inter defender — and Euro 2020 champion — Francesco Acerbi had to pull out with a groin injury last week.

The 25-year-old Gatti, who made his debut in 2022, has played three times for Italy.

Scalvini appeared to be in tears Sunday when he was taken off five minutes before the end of Atalanta’s 3-2 loss to Fiorentina. Tests confirmed the center-back had torn a ligament in his left knee. He had scored in the first half.

The Serie A match was rescheduled from March when former Fiorentina general manager Joe Barone fell ill. Barone then died two days later.

Scalvini was supposed to join the Italy squad on Monday, along with teammate Gianluca Scamacca.

Gatti will now head to the Italy training headquarters in Coverciano, near Florence. He was alerted by Italy coach Luciano Spalletti to the possibility he could be needed last Thursday — the day before the rest of the Azzurri squad met up at Coverciano — and had been working on his own since then.

Scalvini had played eight times for Italy. The 36-year-old Acerbi has made 34 appearances for the Azzurri.

Three players will need to be cut from the squad by Thursday. Euro 2024 starts in Germany on June 14.

Italy begins its title defense against Albania in Dortmund the following day. Spain and Croatia are also in Group B.

Before departing for Germany, Italy plays warmup matches against Turkey on Tuesday and Bosnia-Herzegovina five days later.

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