Italy, the reigning European champions, qualified for Euro 2024 on Monday night thanks to a 0-0 draw against Ukraine in Leverkusen (Germany) during the last qualifying match, thus avoiding the trap of the dam at the end of March.
Luciano Spalletti’s team will thus defend the trophy won in the summer of 2021, while Ukraine will have to win the play-off for the fourth Euro in its history at the end of March with Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Finland.
Italy is thus spared the stress of the decisive playoff, which was fatal for it in November 2017, in a round-robin match against Sweden, and in March 2022, in the Final 4 format, defeated in the semifinals by North Macedonia.
Those failures deprived it of the last two World Cups, in 2018 in Russia and last year in Qatar, which was a trauma for a country that until then had only missed the World Cup twice, in 1930 and 1958.
Italy won a second continental title in July 2021, but their European champion coach Roberto Mancini resigned in surprise mid-August, before taking over as Saudi Arabia coach two weeks later.
His successor, Luciano Spalletti, had a mixed start, was in North Macedonia, defeated in England, but secured the necessary successes at home against Ukraine, Malta and North Macedonia.
The Czech Republic and Slovenia also secured their place
Furthermore, the Czech Republic qualified after winning against Moldova (3-0).
The Czech national team will play its eighth Euro in Germany (June 14 – July 14) since the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Finalists in 1996, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the previous Euro in the summer of 2021.
Slovenia also secured its place after a 2-1 victory against Kazakhstan in Ljubljana.
Slovenia, independent since 1991, will be at only its second Euro in its history after the 2000 edition, where it failed to pass the group stage.