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Italy Faces Challenge as Calafiori Suspended for Euro 2024 Round of 16

Italy will be without star defender Riccardo Calafiori for their crucial Euro 2024 Round of 16 match against Switzerland. Calafiori, who has emerged as one of the standout players of the tournament, received a suspension after accumulating yellow cards in matches against Albania and Croatia. His absence is a significant blow for Italy.

Calafiori recently made headlines for inadvertently scoring an own goal in Italy’s narrow loss to Spain. However, he redeemed himself by providing a crucial assist for Mattia Zaccagni’s late equalizer in the 1-1 draw with Croatia, which secured Italy’s spot in the knockout stage.

Speaking about his emotional response after the Croatia match, Calafiori explained that his tears were due to the overwhelming emotions of the past few days, not the suspension. “I couldn’t even think, I was just so happy. More than anything, it was all the emotions I felt inside me over the last few days, as I didn’t have time to process it because we had to focus on the next match. It just came out. I wanted to make up for my own goal and make a positive contribution to this Nazionale.” he told Sky Sports Italia.

Italy, who finished second in their group behind Spain, will face Switzerland in Berlin on June 29. Coach Luciano Spalletti will need to find a suitable replacement for Calafiori, with options including Alessandro Buongiorno, Federico Gatti, and Gianluca Mancini.

Despite his suspension, Calafiori’s impressive performances have caught the attention of major clubs, with Juventus and several foreign teams showing interest in the Bologna star, who is valued at €40-50 million.

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