2015-17 Italy Home Shirt Size 30-32
Era: 2015-17 (Used for the 2016 UEFA European Championships and during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Campaign)
This shirt remains in excellent condition with the material displaying very few signs of wear, meanwhile the embroidery of the Puma logo and Italian crest also remains immaculate.
Pit to Pit Measurement: 18.0 inches
Shirt Length: 24 inches
While these dimensions may look like they could fit a small, I would like to dissuade for buying the shirt under this pretence as you will be disappointed. Measure accordingly against other shirts before considering to buy.
This Italy home shirt could not have been more different to it’s predecessor in what was Puma’s 10th ‘Azzurri’ home shirt since taking over as the national team’s kit manufacturer in 2003! Out the window went the collar and the white accents that separated the side panels, and in came the return of a traditional hoop collar – a first since the home shirt used at the World Cup in 2006, meanwhile a pinstripe design was used in what was effectively a royal blue and navy ensemble, while the final piece added was the use of gold trims down the sleeves. This would also be the final Italia series of shirts to use the crest which was first introduced in 2005; with the crest placed within a distinctive blue shield. This shirt would be memorable as Antonio Conte led Italy to the quarter final of Euro 2016 where they claimed famous victories over both Belgium and Spain (gaining revenge over the latter for tournament defeats at Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup!), before losing a dramatic penalty shoot-out versus Germany!
Antonio Conte would seal a fine unbeaten UEFA Euro 2016 qualification campaign with a 1st place finish following their victory over Norway in the final group outing, however, 2015 would end on a slightly disappointing note as the November pair of fixtures against Belgium and Romania could only yield a 3-1 defeat and a 2-2 draw.
2016 began for ‘Gil Azzurri’ on 24th March when they hosted the defending European Champions – Spain in Udine, and would battle to a 1-1 draw, before falling 4-1 to Germany in Munich just 5 days later. Their final preparations ahead of their Euro 2016 curtain raiser on 13th June, would see them back in the ‘W’ column as they claimed back to back wins over both Scotland and Finland before making the short journey to Montpellier to take up their base camp ahead of Euro 2016.
Although runners-up at Euro 2012, a Group Stage exit at the World Cup just 2 years later, coupled with the aforementioned high-profile defeats to Belgium and Germany meant that expectations were not at fever pitch level, however, they were still expected to prevail Group E where they were drawn alongside: Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Belgium.
Their opening clash with Belgium could not have any better as they avenged their friendly defeat to ‘Red Devils’ with a fine 2-0 win. Eder’s late winner versus Sweden 4 days later ensured Italy’s passage to the Last 16 and even with a defeat to Ireland in their final game, they would finish 1st, however, their Round of 16 reward would be their perennial tournament thorn in the side – Spain! After three consecutive tournament exits at the hands of Spain; Italy would finally vanquish ‘La Roja’ – defeating them 2-0 at the Stade de France on 27th June to reach the quarter final!
Next up was a mouth-watering tie versus reigning World Champions – Germany! Germany themselves had a bone to pick with Italy after falling to them in the semi-final’s of both the World Cup in 2006 and then Euro 2012! A thrilling 1-1 draw unfolded after 120 minutes, and penalties would be needed to decide who would take their place in the semi-final. A shoot-out that featured some quite bizarre kicks would end in Germany prevailing 6-5 after Matteo Darmian’s miss!
Despite the great showing; Antonio Conte had already announced before Euro 2016 that he would leave the national team set-up after the tournament to take the vacant post at Chelsea and Torino manager – Gian Piero Ventura was chosen to oversee the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Unfortunately, however, his tenure would begin with a 3-1 defeat at home in a friendly versus France on 1st September.
4 days later however, he picked up his first win as he guided Italy to a 3-1 win over Israel to kick-off the World Cup qualifying campaign. Next up was the visit of Spain where the two nations battled to a 1-1 draw at the Juventus Stadium. 2016 would end on a high note with further victories in qualifying coming over Macedonia and Lichtenstein, while a goalless draw unfolded with Germany in the final game of the year.
That fine momentum carried on into 2017 when the national side reunited on 24th March to defeat Albania 2-0 at home in World Cup qualifying before the Netherlands were beaten 2-1 in a high profile friendly in Amsterdam four days later. The summer fixtures yielded a 3-0 win over Uruguay and then a 5-0 drubbing of Lichtenstein at home to set up was essentially a ‘winner takes 1st’ clash with Spain on 2nd September.
The showdown in front of over 73,000 fans in Madrid would be a disaster for the visitors as Spain walked out as 3-0 winners. Even if Italy had beaten Macedonia on 6th October, Spain dropped no further points which meant that the former 4x world champions would have to enter the play-off’s to reach the World Cup in Russia in 2018 where a 2-legged tie with Sweden would determine if Italy would join the summer spectacle or miss out for the first time since 1958…
The notable players that season(s) were:
Andrea Belotti, Manolo Gabbiadini, Graziano Pelle, Eder, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne, Simone Zaza, Stephan El Shaarawy, Federico Bernardeschi, Antonio Candreva, Daniele De Rossi, Claudio Marchisio, Marco Parolo, Stefano Sturaro, Marco Verratti, Emanuele Giaccherini, Thiago Motta, Alesandro Florenzi, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia di Sciglio, Matteo Darmian, Angelo Ogbonna, Gianluigi Buffon, Federico Marchetti, Salvatore Sirigu
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