Italy's hopes of a perfect qualifying record may have been dashed with a 0-0 draw in Greece with a finals place long secured, but having not conceded a goal in their ten games, it is a long time since the Azzurre came through as comfortably as this.
Of course, they have a proud Women's EURO record, reaching two finals in the 1990s in the days of Carolina Morace and never failing to be among the top eight. But they needed play-offs to make the 2005 and 2009 tournaments and are no longer considered among the favourites.
They are becoming a stronger force, though. In 2009 in Finland, they only narrowly lost 2-1 to Germany in the quarter-finals and were pipped to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in play-offs against eventual semi-finalists France and runners-up the United States. They looked supreme in qualifying when twice beating main rivals Russia 2-0 and up front the evergreen Patrizia Panico leads a strong attack also containing Melania Gabbiadini, Pamela Conti and Elisa Camporese, while the defence proved their strength. Shortly before qualifying was confirmed, coach Pietro Ghedin left to become Malta men's coach, replaced by 1982 FIFA World Cup winner Antonio Cabrini.
Qualifying round: Group 1 winners, P10 W9 D1 L0 F35 A0 Pts28
Sara Gama (defender, ACF Brescia Femminile), Pamela Conti (midfielder, FK Zorkiy Krasnogorsk), Patrizia Panico (forward, ASD Torres CF)
Coach: Antonio Cabrini
Date of birth: 8 October 1957
Playing career: US Cremonese, Atalanta BC, Juventus, Bologna FC
Coaching career: AC Arezzo, FC Crotone, Pisa Calcio, Novara Calcio, Syria, Italy (women)
Famed for his performances at left-back for Juventus and Italy, winning every UEFA club trophy and the World Cup, Cabrini took charge of the women's national team in May 2012, a month before they reached UEFA Women's EURO 2013.
His playing career began at local Serie C club Cremonese before moving to Serie B side Atalanta and then Juve in 1976. Playing more than 300 games over 13 seasons, he helped them win the 1985 European Champion Clubs' Cup and European/South American Cup, the 1977 UEFA Cup, 1984 European Cup Winners' Cup and six Serie A titles. He also played at three World Cups including the 1982 triumph (though he missed a penalty at 0-0 in the final against West Germany), winning 73 caps and scoring nine goals in all and even captaining the Azzurri.
Cabrini retired from playing in 1991 but it was not until 2000 that he took his first coaching role at Serie C1 Arezzo. His other club roles were in the lower divisions, and after a spell outside football, he now has his first job in the women's game.
Qualifying top scorer
Patrizia Panico 9
2005: group stage
2001: group stage
1991: fourth place
1989: fourth place
1987: third place
1984: fourth place
2008 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship
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