Italy’s Euro 2024 penalty takers: Still haunted by Jorginho, who will step up for the Azzurri in a shootout?

Having once been imperious from the spot, Italy midfielder Jorginho has been guilty of some costly misses. So who are Spalletti's designated Azzurri penalty takers at Euro 2024?

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The Italy Men’s National Team edged through Group B to qualify for the knockout stages of the 2024 European Championship, and after an unconvincing start to the tournament thoughts are already turning towards a potential penalty shootout in the coming rounds.

A last-gasp 1-1 draw against Croatia secured second place in Group B for Luciano Spalletti‘s men, but it lacked verve in the same way that a tight 2-1 win over Albania and a 1-0 defeat to Spain had earlier in the competition.

Italy face Switzerland in the Round of 16 of Euro 2024, with a clash against England or Slovakia to come in the quarter-final should they make it that far.

Having required a penalty shootout to beat England in the final of Euro 2020, as well as spot-kicks to overcome Spain in the semi-final of that edition, a shootout is very possible whilst the Azzurri must also be prepared to take a penalty within normal or extra-time if they are to defend their crown.

Jorginho no longer Mr. Reliable

Italy Men’s National Team players – including Riccardo Calafiori and Jorginho – in training. (@Azzurri_en)

However, Spalletti has no real obvious penalty-takers in his squad, particularly as the previously ever-reliable Jorginho has been guilty of some of the most costly misses in recent Azzurri history.

The Arsenal midfielder has missed his last four penalties for Italy, including two against Switzerland in 2022 World Cup qualifying to condemn the 2006 champions to the playoffs, and so it remains to be seen whether he would be trusted as first choice should a penalty be awarded against the Swiss this time around.

Meanwhile, Jorginho also failed to convert in the subsequent World Cup playoff as Italy were stunned by North Macedonia, and his recent record is certainly a cause for concern.

Italy lack a penalty specialist

The problem for Spalletti is that there aren’t many players within the squad who regularly take spot kicks for their clubs.

Lazio‘s Mattia Zaccagni struck the crucial equaliser against Croatia and has netted with all four of his penalty attempts at club level, but the wide-man is not considered a starter and may not be available should Italy be awarded a penalty.

Gianluca Scamacca in training with the Italy Men’s National Team. (@Azzurri_EN)

Elsewhere, Gianluca Scamacca is likely to be trusted, but the striker is not the usual taker for Atalanta and hasn’t struck a penalty since 2022, whilst Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella‘s last attempt was even further back, in 2018 for Cagliari, and was saved.

Nerazzurri teammate Federico Dimarco has also been suggested as an option, but with Hakan Calhanoglu the regular man at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, the wingback has only taken one and duly missed.

Although Italy coach Luciano Spalletti has been playing his cards close to his chest for most of this Euro 2024 campaign, ahead of the Azzurri taking on Spain in their second Group B game, he did reveal who his penalty takers this summer were, and in order.

Italy’s Euro 2024 penalty takers

As per Spalletti himself ahead of that second match, his Italy penalty takers this summer are, and in order:

  1. Gianluca Scamacca
  2. Mateo Retegui
  3. Nicolo Barella
  4. Federico Dimarco
  5. Riccardo Calafiori
  6. Jorginho

Pellegrini could step up too

Pellegrini Italy Euro 2024
Italy Men’s National Team midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini at Euro 2024. [@Azzurri]

AS Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini has filled in when needed, despite the Giallorossi’s undisputed spot-kick king being Paulo Dybala, and over the course of his career with his hometown club he has netted 11 penalties and missed four.

The midfielder could be Spalletti‘s best option should the Azzurri seek to avoid the pressure of asking Jorginho to step up again, whilst clubmate Bryan Cristante has also converted in crucial moments, including in the Europa League final in 2023.

Another candidate is striker Mateo Retegui, having scored 12 out of his 13 efforts for Atletico Tigre in Argentina before joining Genoa last summer and being successful with his only Serie A penalty, against AC Milan.

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