Italy to play England in football friendly

Italy to play England in football friendly
Italy will meet England again in a friendly next March. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP
England will play fellow European heavyweights Italy in a glamour friendly game next March, the Football Association announced on Thursday.

The sides last met at the World Cup in Brazil, where Italy won 2-1 in the group phase, and will resume hostilities on March 31st at an Italian venue that has yet to be decided.

England will then host Italy in a friendly game scheduled to take place at some point between the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup.

"Italy have always provided stern opposition for England and these two fixtures will be no different," said England manager Roy Hodgson, who has previously coached Italian sides Inter Milan and Udinese.

"Italian teams are always set up very well and they have a great history of producing world-class footballers. It will give us great preparation leading into major international tournaments.

"After managing in Italy with Inter Milan, it will be a fantastic experience for me personally to go back to Italy and manage England."

The teams last played in Italy in November 2000, when a solitary goal by Gennaro Gattuso gave the home side a 1-0 win in David Beckham's first match as England captain.

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