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UEFA Under-17 EURO final preview: Italy vs Portugal

Italy look for their first title in their fourth U17 EURO final on Wednesday in Limassol against two-time champions Portugal.

Italy coach Massimiliano Favo and captain Mattia Mosconi with Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Ferreira and coach João Santos
Italy coach Massimiliano Favo and captain Mattia Mosconi with Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Ferreira and coach João Santos UEFA via Sportsfile

Italy face Portugal in Wednesday's UEFA European Under-17 Championship final at Limassol Stadium in Cyprus.

U17 EURO final at a glance

When: 19:30 CET (20:30 local time), Wednesday 5 June
: Limassol Stadium, Limassol, Cyprus
: UEFA European Under-17 Championship final
How to follow: Build-up and live coverage can be found here 
Where to watch: See the list of broadcasters, or watch live on UEFA.tv in most territories

Watch highlights

The lowdown

A final more familiar from U19 EURO, where Italy and Portugal have met three times for the title, most recently last year, is now played at the junior tournament. Italy have moved through the tournament in efficient style, beating Poland, Slovakia and Sweden in their group, and dominating their semi-final against Denmark far more than the 1-0 scoreline suggests.

Only England in the quarter-final hugely troubled Italy, Mattia Liberali's superb solo goal and Alessandro Longoni's flawless keeping earning a penalty shoot-out and victory (though the goalkeeper's concussion then ruled him out of the rest of the tournament, Massimo Pessina stepping up). Portugal had beaten England 4-1 in the group stage, either side of a comeback 2-1 win against Spain and 2-1 loss to France, as João Santos's side topped a section many considered to contain four potential champions.

U17 EURO semi-final highlights: Serbia 2-3 Portugal

Portugal then overcame Poland 2-1 in the quarter-finals but at half-time of their semi were 2-0 down to Serbia. An own goal reduced arrears, but it was still 2-1 entering the 90th minute when Rodrigo Mora equalised to go one clear as finals top scorer, then substitute João Trovisco headed a last-gasp winner. It was the first time in any U17 EURO knockout match that a team had recovered from two down to gain victory.

Rodrigo Mora made history last year aged 15 years 255 days for second division Porto B when he became his country's youngest professional debutant ever. But then Italy's Francesco Camarda this season broke the Serie A record at 15 years 260 days when he appeared for AC Milan against Fiorentina, underlining the prodigious talent in both squads.

U17 EURO semi-final highlights: Denmark 0-1 Italy
Meet the teams

Views from the camps

Massimiliano Favo, Italy coach: "Portugal are a strong team. They have technique and individual ability. We have a 50% chance of winning like every final.

"We will do everything to win because for us it would be the first Under-17 title after three lost finals ][2013, 2018 and 2019]. It will be a good match."

Massimiliano Favo and Mattia Mosconi at Tuesday's press conference in Larnaca
Massimiliano Favo and Mattia Mosconi at Tuesday's press conference in LarnacaUEFA via Sportsfile

Mattia Mosconi, Italy captain: "The day before the final is a special day. I can't wait to get on the pitch and play. We want to win this trophy and we will give everything on the pitch to do it.

"Portugal are an excellent team. They have excellent attackers, especially the wingers. The midfielders have technical qualities and the defenders are tactically organised."

Where to watch: TV/streams

João Santos, Portugal coach: "We are proud of the journey so far, the players’ conduct and the way they have played. We want to win and end this journey in the best way.

"The team is well-balanced psychologically and emotionally. So the team have been preparing for these emotional situations in friendlies and qualifiers, so they are ready to face the final."

João Santos and Diogo Ferreira speak to the media
João Santos and Diogo Ferreira speak to the mediaUEFA via Sportsfile

Diogo Ferreira, Portugal goalkeeper: "There are always those feelings of nerves because we are young, it is a healthy feeling. We have a lot of desire to get on the pitch and win the game.

"Italy are a good team, individually and collectively, but I think we are also a strong team and will do our best to win."

U17 EURO final refereeing team

UEFA via Sportsfile

Radoslav Gidzhenov of Bulgaria will referee the final, assisted by compatriot Petar Mitrev and Kyriakos Sokratous of Cyprus. Menelaos Antoniou, also from the home nation, will be fourth official.

Previous U17 EURO final referees include Halil Umut Meler (2018) and Ivan Kružliak (2012), both on the list for UEFA EURO 2024. Two U17 EURO final referees went on to take charge of senior EURO finals, Björn Kuipers (2006 then 2020) and Roberto Rosetti (2002 then 2008).

Key stats

  • Italy have now won their last four U17 EURO semis but have lost each of their previous three finals in 2013, 2018 and 2019. They did win the first U16 EURO title in 1982.
  • Portugal have won both their previous U17 EURO finals, in 2003 and 2016 against Spain. Including U16 EURO they have six titles, behind only Spain on nine.
  • Italy would be the tenth different champions from the 21 editions of U17 EURO (since 2001/02) after Netherlands (4), France (3), Spain (3), England (2), Germany (2), Portugal (2), Russia (2), Switzerland (1) and Türkiye (1)
  • Portugal's Rodrigo Mora is finals top scorer on five goals, with no other player from either his team or Italy on more than two. The Porto player was already joint-top scorer in the 2023/24 UEFA Youth League with eight goals.
  • Italy's Francesco Camarda, Mattia Liberali and Emanuele Sala played in this year's UEFA Youth League final for AC Milan.
  • Italy have conceded just two goals in their five finals matches in Cyprus, and also kept three clean sheets in their six qualifiers.
Limassol Stadium will stage the final
Limassol Stadium will stage the finalUEFA via Sportsfile

Can there be extra time in the U17 EURO final?

As in all UEFA U17 competitions, there will not be extra time if the match ends level after 90 minutes. The final would go straight to penalties, as in seven of the 12 past finals, including Germany beating France last year, Italy losing to the Netherlands in 2018 and Portugal defeating Spain in 2016.

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