England vs Italy: The two XIs who played first match at new Wembley - where are they now?

England U21s

Italy face England in the UEFA Nations League on Friday night – a repeat of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

The Italians triumphed that night in a penalty shootout to break the hearts of the vast majority inside the stadium.

However, ahead of the Nations League game, we wanted to remember another meeting between England and Italy.

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This one took place in March 2007.

It involved England and Italy Under 21s and it marked the first match at the new Wembley.

The friendly ended in an entertaining 3-3 draw as the world witnessed football’s next stars playing at the new home of football.

But what happened to those 22 players who started that match under the new Wembley arch?

Let’s take a look:

England’s U21 vs Italy in first new Wembley match

Goalkeeper: Lee Camp

Camp started the match ahead of Joe Hart – one of only five appearances for England U21s. But he later chose to represent Northern Ireland at international level, earning nine caps.

In terms of his club career, Camp was something of a journeyman with spells at Derby County, Queens Park Rangers, Nottingham Forest, Norwich, West Bromwich Albion, Bournemouth and Rotherham United amongst others.

He signed for Wrexham on a short-term contract last March but has since left.

England U21 v Italy U21

Right-back: Liam Rosenior

Rosenior also failed to play senior football for England, spending his club career at Reading and Brighton.

Recently, he was assistant manager to Wayne Rooney at Derby before briefly becoming interim manager.

Centre-back: Anton Ferdinand

Anton didn’t quite have the same career as his brother, Rio.

He didn’t progress to England’s senior side after stints at West Ham, Sunderland and QPR. He moved to Turkey with Bursaspor and Antalyaspor before joining Thailand-based side Police United.

He finished his career with Reading, Southend before retiring at St. Mirren.

Centre-back: Gary Cahill

Perhaps the most successful player in this U21 side.

Cahill played 61 times for England’s senior side and spent seven successful seasons at Chelsea after leaving Bolton. Eight major trophies later, Cahill joined Crystal Palace in 2019 where he played another two seasons.

He helped Bournemouth earn promotion to the Premier League last season before leaving in the summer.

Left-back: Leighton Baines

Baines managed 30 appearances for England while spending 13 years at Everton following his move from Wigan. He retired in 2020.

England U21 v Italy U21

Right midfield: David Bentley

The next David Beckham? Not quite…

Bentley did score an incredible free-kick that day at Wembley but failed to fulfil his incredible potential with just seven England caps.

He certainly showed glimpses of his brilliance at Blackburn and Tottenham but retired in 2013, at the age of 29, after saying he no longer enjoyed it.

Centre midfield: Nigel Reo-Coker

Reo-Coker can say he was the first English captain at the new Wembley as he led his nation out. However, he failed to make the transition to England’s senior side.

At club level, the midfielder showed promise at West Ham and Aston Villa but, after leaving the latter in 2010, he bounced around clubs including Bolton Wanderers, Ipswich Town, Vancouver Whitecaps, Chivas USA, Montreal Impact and Start in Denmark.

He finshed his career at MK Dons but failed to make a single appearance.

Left midfield: Kieran Richardson

Richardson was one of few who went on to play for England, making eight appearances.

After leaving Manchester United, Richardson represented Sunderland, Fulham, Aston Villa and Cardiff.

England U21 v Italy U21

Right forward: Wayne Routledge

Routledge has played almost his entire career in the Premier League but still failed to get a call-up to England. The winger has played top-flight football with Crystal Palace, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Fulham, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Swansea. He retired last year after almost 600 career appearances.

Left forward: Gabriel Agbonlahor

Agbonlahor looked to have the potential to be an England regular with searing pace and goalscoring ability. He only managed three senior appearances, though.

He was an Aston Villa regular at a young age and scored 36 goals in three seasons between 2007 and 2010. But his Villa career turned sour and he eventually left – and retired – in 2018.

Centre forward: Leroy Lita

Lita is best remembered for his spell for Reading, but the striker also represented Middlesbrough and Swansea. He’s currently playing in the Southern League Premier Division Central for Hednesford Town.

England substitutes

England’s substitutes arguably had a more successful career than many of the starting XI with the likes of Hart, James Milner, Tom Huddlestone and Ashley Young.

England U21 v Italy U21

VIDEO: England U21s 3-3 Italy U21s

Italy’s U21 vs England in first new Wembley match

Goalkeeper: Gianluca Curci

Curci was actually called up to the Italy senior side in 2009 but failed to make his way onto the pitch. He began his career at Roma before moves to Italian sides Sampdoria and Siena. He moved to Mainz 05 in Germany but most recently played for Hammarby IF in Sweden but left in 2019.

England U21 v Italy U21

Right-back: Alessandro Potenza

Potenza played 27 times for Italy U21s but failed to make a senior appearance.

At club level, the defender played for Parma and Fiorentina as well as numerous lesser-known Italian clubs. After retiring in 2016, he turned to management and was last in charge of Serie C side Arezzo but was sacked less than two months into the job.

Centre-back: Andrea Mantovani

Six years at Chievo is what Mantovani is best known for. He moved to Palermo in 2011, before signing for Perugia in 2015.

A two-year spell with Novara was sandwiched between two spells with Vicenza, who he left in 2019.

Centre-back: Marco Andreolli

Andreolli was at both Inter and Roma early in his career but failed to force his way into the first-team. He enjoyed more game-time at the likes of Vicenza, Sassuolo and Chievo.

Left-back: Giorgio Chiellini

Just the 117 caps for Italy before retiring after the Euro 2022 victory at Wembley. The legendary defender made 561 appearances for Juventus and is still going strong at Los Angeles FC at the age of 38.

England U21 v Italy U21

Right midfield: Alessandro Rosina

Rosina played a massive 32 times for Italy U21, which earned him a solitary cap for the senior side. The midfielder played mainly for Torino in his native country, although did enjoy three years in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg. He finished his career with Salernitana, retiring in 2020.

Centre midfield: Riccardo Montolivo

Montolivo played 66 times for Italy.

The midfielder only represented three clubs during his career – Atalanta, Fiorentina and AC Milan.

Left midfield: Antonio Nocerino

Nocerino also made the step up to Italy’s senior squad, playing 15 times for his country.

Between 2007-2016, he played for Juventus, Palermo and Milan as well as a loan spell at West Ham.

He retired in 2018 after a spell with Benevento.

England U21 v Italy U21

Right forward: Giampaolo Pazzini

Pazzini scored a hat-trick in the first ever match at the new Wembley, opening the scoring after just 25 seconds. Pazzini went on to play 25 times for the senior side, scoring four goals.

He enjoyed spells at Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Verona.

Left forward: Simone Padoin

Padoin failed to earn ca cap for Italy but enjoyed a successful career which included spells at Vicenza and Atalanta between 2003 and 2012.

In July 2021, he became a technical collaborator at Juventus.

Centre forward: Giuseppe Rossi

Rossi scored seven goals in 30 appearances for Italy.

He started his senior career at Manchester United before lengthy spells at Villarreal and Fiorentina. He finished his career last season following a short spell at Spal.

Italy substitutes

Italy’s bench includes the likes of Emiliano Viviano, Graziano Pelle and Domenico Criscito who all featured for the senior side.

England U21 v Italy U21
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