Thirty years after the World Cup, in which the country lost to Brazil on penalties in the final, and almost 19 years after the game against Ecuador in June 2005, Italy will return to the United States in March to play friendlies with Venezuela and Ecuador. Two proof tests with a view to Euro 2024with two national teams preparing for the next World Cup.
Thursday March 21st (at 5:00 p.m. Florida time) at Drv Pnk Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, home of Inter Miami, the Azzurri face Venezuela on Sunday March 24th (at 4:00 p.m. local time) they face Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
For the Azzurri, the game in Fort Lauderdale will be the first game in history against Venezuela. “Vinotinto” has never taken part in the final stages of a World Cup, but this long fast could be broken as the Venezuelans are currently in fourth place (with 9 points in 6 games) in the South American qualifying group for the 2026 World Cup. Due to the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams, the best 6 in the group qualify themselves.
There are two precedents with Ecuador: the success of the Azzurri (2-0, brace from Vieri) in the final stages of the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea and a draw (1-1, goal from Toni) in the 2005 New York friendly.