Joey Carbery did not suffer a fractured ankle in the win over Italy but Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is unsure how serious the fly-half's injury is.

Carbery was carted off in the second half of a 29-10 Rugby World Cup warm-up win in Dublin on Saturday, just seven weeks before the tournament starts in Japan.

The 23-year-old scored Ireland's first try and controlled the game at number 10 before doing damage to his left ankle at the base of a ruck.

Munster's Carbery was cleared of a break and must now wait to discover the extent of his setback.

"The good news is there's no fracture, it's a bit puffy on the inside of his left ankle," said New Zealander Schmidt.

"We'll give it 24 to 48 hours for the swelling to go down. He's been cleared of a fracture so that's the good news on Joey.

"We don't have anyone else who's a major concern. We're hopefully relatively unscathed but with Joey it will take 24 to 48 hours to know for sure.

"I was really happy with Joey's performance today. Defensively he got himself into the right places and that's a challenge sometimes.

"I thought he ran the game very well, with the variety of his kicking game and running game. He is a danger with the ball and he almost got through the line a couple of times. I thought as a package Joey's game was really tidy."

First-choice fly-half Johnny Sexton has been struggling with a thumb sprain but is set to return against England at Twickenham on August 24.

Joey Carbery was carted off with an ankle injury just over a month before the start of the Rugby World Cup as Ireland eased to a 29-10 victory over Italy at the Aviva Stadium.

The fly-half had been hugely impressive in Dublin on Saturday, scoring his team's opening try and controlling the game with ball in hand and the boot before he was forced off in pain with damage to his left ankle sustained at the bottom of a ruck.

Carbery looked emotional as he was taken off early in the second half, with Jack Carty coming on to replace Johnny Sexton's understudy.

Dave Kearney, winning his first cap since 2017, was also among the try-scorers as he staked his claim for a seat on the plane to Japan, and fellow wing Andrew Conway touched down in a man-of-the-match display.

Chris Farrell also caught the eye with Andy Farrell watching on as stand-in coach, while Jordi Murphy and Kieran Marmion crossed after the break.

Tries from Maxime Mbanda and Carlo Canna had put Italy in front during the first half and they caused problems with their kicking game, but Ireland were worthy winners over Conor O'Shea's men.

Lock Jean Kleyn made his presence felt and fellow Ireland debutant Mike Haley was given a 20-minute run out at full-back 42 days before Ireland face Scotland in their Pool A opener in Yokohama.

The main concern for Ireland will be the extent of the injury suffered by playmaker Carbery.

Daniele De Rossi has extended his 18-year professional career by joining Boca Juniors in Argentina.

The former Italy international left hometown club Roma at the end of last season after learning his contract would not be renewed.

Revered at Stadio Olimpico, where he debuted in October 2001, the 36-year-old De Rossi will prolong his playing days at the equally iconic La Bombonera after signing a deal on Thursday.

He arrives in Buenos Aires as a World Cup winner who won Coppa Italia twice and the Supercoppa Italiana with the Giallorossi.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the dependable, highly decorated and vastly experienced midfielder Boca have gained.

616 - De Rossi played 616 times for Roma in all competitions, albeit still 170 short of the club's record appearance maker Francesco Totti.

61 - The midfielder has, however, featured in more Champions League/European Cup matches than any other Roma player. His tally of 61 is four more than Totti managed.

459 - In total, De Rossi featured in 459 Serie A games for Roma.

249 - With De Rossi in their side, Roma won 249 league matches. They lost on 99 occasions and had 111 draws.

63 - De Rossi scored 63 goals for Roma in his 18-year spell in the first-team – 43 of those were in Serie A, with 13 in European competitions.

117 - Only three players have won more Italy caps than De Rossi's 117. They are Gianluigi Buffon (176), Fabio Cannavaro (136) and Paolo Maldini (126).

21 - De Rossi found the net against 21 of the 40 teams he faced in Serie A. He also managed 21 international goals.

4 - Chievo were De Rossi's favourite opponents when it came to getting himself on the scoresheet, as the holding midfielder netted four times in 24 league appearances against them.

355 - Only two players in Roma's history – De Rossi and Totti – have made at least 500 appearances for the club. De Rossi also played alongside the forward 355 times in Serie A.

Armando Izzo has signed a new contract at Torino, ending speculation he could move to the Premier League.

Arsenal were reportedly interested in the centre-back, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Everton.

But Izzo, who made his first Italy appearance in a Euro 2020 qualifier in March, has instead signed a new five-year deal with Torino.

Speaking last month, the 27-year-old indicated he would commit to the Granata and he is thrilled to have agreed an extension.

"Happy to continue with the Bull, with the same determination we will still face many battles together!!" Izzo wrote on Instagram.

Torino, who finished seventh in Serie A last season, will play in the Europa League in 2019-20 due to AC Milan's ban.

Walter Mazzarri's side face a qualifier against Hungarian outfit Debrecen, with the first leg to be played on Thursday.

Inter have announced the signing of Nicolo Barella from Cagliari on an initial one-year loan, with an obligation to buy at the end of that period.

Barella will spend the 2019-20 season at San Siro before joining the Nerazzurri permanently on a five-year contract.

Inter are reported to have paid a €12million loan fee for Barella, who will then cost €25m next year, with the deal including a potential €13m in add-ons, taking the transfer to a total value of €50m.

"He's not shy on the pitch, he's not afraid," Inter said of Barella in a club statement. "He gets involved in tackles on many occasions because he wants to win back the ball, because he wants to win.

"Last season, he was the player who regained possession the most out of all the players in the league, while he's also the midfielder who has won the most duels in the past two seasons."

Barella, 22, has won seven senior caps for Italy but was part of the squad that underperformed last month at the European Under-21 Championship in Poland.

Cagliari said goodbye to Barella, who made 112 appearances for the club, in an emotional statement.

"In the life of every boy, sooner or later the time comes to leave home to continue on his own journey," Cagliari said on the club's official website. "It is with a touch of emotion that the club sees Nicolo leaving today.

"Born in Cagliari, a supporter of his city team, he grew up carrying more and more responsibility on his shoulders: with Sardinian pride he developed the temper of the leader, without trembling in front of the most difficult challenges and even wearing the captain's armband. 

"This Rossoblu home will always be yours too. Goodbye, Nicolo."

Gianluigi Buffon is back at Juventus following a year away with Paris Saint-Germain, returning to the club where he established himself as a modern great.

He previously spent 17 years with the Old Lady before his brief spell at PSG, winning a host of titles and enjoying sustained excellence.

Such has been the 41-year-old's longevity, the former Parma prodigy has rubbed shoulders with the very best in world football throughout his time, forming part of World Cup, Ligue 1 and Serie A-winning sides.

With Buffon securing another big move, we have compiled a star-studded group of former team-mates for a dream XI.

GOALKEEPER: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Who else has the pedigree to don the gloves in such a side?

A five-time member of the UEFA Team of the Year, he boasts more Serie A clean sheets than any other player and, as captain of his country from 2010 until November 2017, would have no trouble bringing this team together.

 

RIGHT-BACK: LILIAN THURAM

Having been joined by Buffon at Parma after his switch from Monaco in 1996, Thuram followed his team-mate in making the move to Turin ahead of the 2001-02 campaign.

The 142-time France international, part of the side that tasted glory at the 1998 World Cup on home soil and won Euro 2000, spent five seasons at Juve before rounding out his career with a spell at Barcelona.

 

CENTRE-BACK: FABIO CANNAVARO

Buffon's inheritance of the Italy armband from Cannavaro in 2010 completed the striking symmetry of their careers.

They both made their Parma debuts in 1995, did the same for Italy in 1997 and were reunited at club level when Cannavaro, one of few defenders to win the Ballon d'Or, joined Juve in 2004. They also lifted the Jules Rimet trophy together in 2006.

 

CENTRE-BACK: ALESSANDRO NESTA

A long-time rival at club level, Nesta was part of the famous Milan defence that beat Juve in the 2002-03 Champions League final – he scored his penalty against Buffon in a 3-2 shoot-out victory – and triumphed again four seasons later.

He was named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2000, which Buffon missed through injury, but the 2006 World Cup success will undoubtedly be the highlight of his career.

 

LEFT-BACK: PAOLO MALDINI

With admirable longevity, loyalty and leadership, classy defender Maldini set the path that Buffon has so impressively followed.

The long-time Rossoneri skipper, a seven-time Scudetto winner who also lifted the European Cup on five occasions, is the only player to have managed more Serie A appearances than the veteran Juve goalkeeper – though Buffon will likely surpass Maldini's 647 record next term as he is just seven matches behind.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: ANDREA PIRLO

Has there been a more iconic duo of the modern era?

Pirlo was already at the top by the time he swapped Milan for Juve, but he saved plenty of his play-making brilliance for Buffon and friends as the Bianconeri re-asserted themselves as Italy's top club with a run of successive Scudetti. 

 

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: PAVEL NEDVED

Nedved's blend of athleticism, tenacity and well-rounded technical ability made him close to the complete midfielder.

He helped Czech Republic to the final of Euro 1996 and his value to Juve was summed up by a Ballon d'Or victory in 2003.

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: FRANCESCO TOTTI

Buffon said it would have been "ruining a masterpiece" to have kept out some of the goals the talismanic Totti scored against him for Roma.

They were certainly on the same page in the international arena, helping their country conquer the world in 2006.

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ROBERTO BAGGIO

Less than two years after a 17-year-old Buffon held Baggio and Milan scoreless, the pair were sharing the same shirt for Italy.

Two of the Azzurri's greatest were in the same squad at the 1998 World Cup, remaining team-mates until Baggio retired in 2004.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO

He stands as an equal to Buffon in the pantheon of Juve luminaries.

Buffon and the artistic Del Piero combined to help the Bianconeri finish top of Serie A on five occasions, while they lined up for Italy together for over a decade and experienced the top prize of winning the World Cup together.

 

STRIKER: KYLIAN MBAPPE

Although David Trezeguet enjoyed 10 prolific seasons at the opposite end of the Juve team to Buffon, Mbappe gets the nod in attack for the remarkable nature of his 2018-19 campaign.

The France international scored an astonishing 33 Ligue 1 goals from 29 appearances and took the lead role after Neymar's injury, becoming the face of the team and a leader despite his tender age of 20. While Trezeguet was a fine player, Mbappe is on the trajectory to becoming an all-time great.

Gianluigi Buffon is extending his remarkable a career for at least another season after completing a stunning return to Juventus on a one-year contract.

Just as he did upon joining Paris Saint-Germain 12 months ago, the Italy legend has shelved thoughts of retirement and will once again intend on challenging for the number one shirt at a dominant domestic force.

It will be the Parma product's 25th season as a professional but, even with his World Cup and nine Serie A titles, the 41-year-old is not alone in at least one respect.

Here are seven  other football legends who, like Buffon, carried on playing into their fifth decade.


RYAN GIGGS

Wales manager Ryan Giggs was an ultimate one-club man, staying at Manchester United for the entirety of his glittering career. Giggs managed to slowly transform himself from a rapid, tricky winger into a cultured central midfielder in the latter years of his playing days, helping to extend his time on the pitch beyond 40. Giggs won an extraordinary haul of medals at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a pair of Champions League crowns. Giggs played in 632 Premier League games, scoring 109 goals, with only Gareth Barry topping his appearance tally. Giggs worked as Louis van Gaal's assistant at United, having taken charge on an interim basis following the sacking of David Moyes, and he will go down in history as both a club and football legend.

PAOLO MALDINI

Paolo Maldini was still going strong for AC Milan beyond his 40th birthday and, like Giggs, he only ever played for one club. Seven league titles and an incredible five European Cup/Champions League wins headline a litany of honours that Maldini helped marshal at San Siro, playing across their near impenetrable back four for almost 25 years. Maldini, son of another Milan legend, Cesare, is one of a select group of players who made over 1,000 appearances in all competitions during their career. To complete the journey, the former Italy man returned to the Rossoneri as technical director in June.

KAZUYOSHI MIURA

Kazuyoshi Miura is the only other man on this list, alongside Buffon, who is still playing. That the Japanese striker made his debut almost 10 years beforehand begins to tell part of his incredible tale. Known as King Kazu, Miura plays for Yokohama FC in Japan's second tier and signed a fresh deal in January to extend his career. The oldest player and goalscorer in the history of global professional football, Miura is regarded as one of the finest Asian players never to have featured at a World Cup, although he made 89 appearances for his country.

 

STANLEY MATTHEWS

Before Miura snatched them off him, Stanley Matthews held the record for both the oldest professional footballer and the oldest goalscorer in the game. Matthews - the Wizard of Dribble - made nearly 700 league appearances for Stoke City and Blackpool in a career that spanned three decades. The 1953 FA Cup final is regarded as the Matthews Final, even though Blackpool's Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick. Matthews won the first-ever European Footballer of the Year award, while he was capped for England 84 times.

DINO ZOFF

Goalkeepers often play deep into their thirties, but not many captain their country to World Cup glory at the age of 40. But that is exactly what Dino Zoff did at the World Cup in 1982. He made 40 appearances in World Cup finals and qualifiers in total, while as a coach he led Italy to the final of Euro 2000. It must be something about Juventus, as Buffon's club is also where Zoff spent the best years of his career, winning six Serie A titles.

RIVALDO

Best known for his spell at Barcelona in club football, Brazil icon Rivaldo was still playing beyond his 40th birthday, albeit only briefly. Rivaldo came out of retirement to sign for Mogi Mirim, the club where his son Rivaldinho was also on the books. Rivaldo picked up two LaLiga titles at Barcelona before continuing his European adventure with AC Milan, winning the 2002–03 Champions League with the Rossoneri. But it is as a Brazil international that Rivaldo is best remembered, having been a key part of the side that won the World Cup in 2002.

 

ROGER MILLA

Roger Milla became the World Cup's oldest scorer when he hit the net for Cameroon in 1994 at the age of 42, having announced himself at the same tournament four years previously with his famous corner-flag dance. Milla's four goals at the 1990 World Cup helped Cameroon to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament and he is fondly regarded as one of Africa's greatest ever players. Remarkably, Milla regained the African Footballer of the Year title 14 years after he first won the award.

Gianluigi Buffon has sensationally returned Juventus just a year after leaving the club for Paris Saint-Germain.

Buffon had suggested he could take a year off after rejecting a deal for a second season in the French capital.

A new one-year contract with the Serie A champions will instead take Buffon beyond his 42nd birthday.

When he does eventually retire, Buffon will not just be remembered for his electric reflexes and passionate Italian national anthem-singing.

The Juventus stopper also has a way with words that suggests he will not be short of job offers when he does decide to hang up his gloves.

Here, we pick out some of our favourite Buffon quotes from throughout his long and distinguished career.

 

BUFFON ON… DIETS

"My worst vice is gluttony. I try to keep myself under control because I'm an athlete, but once a week I like to pig out and act like a normal person."

BUFFON ON… CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

"Losing on penalties in 2003 was very painful, but since I was only 25, I was fairly calm because I was convinced I'd win many more. That's the exuberance of youth. I was so close to winning it on that occasion; they missed three penalties in that final - I saved two of them. Strange things happen. It wasn't meant to be and we weren't good enough. In sport and life, those who deserve it more probably end up getting their rewards."

BUFFON ON… MANAGEMENT

"The pitch is the most beautiful part of the game; it gives you emotions which bring meaning to life. So, I wouldn't like a role as [a club] coach, with the day-to-day nature of it. I wouldn't rule out a role as national coach; you'd still get the emotion of the pitch but with the time and the freedom to devote to other things."

BUFFON ON… CARS

"Maybe I'm the only footballer who isn't interested in cars. My Lancia Y gets me around."

BUFFON ON… MESSI

"Messi is an alien that dedicates himself to playing with humans. The only hope is that this Saturday [Buffon was speaking before the 2015 Champions League final] he will be from earth, like the rest of us."

BUFFON ON… AGEING

"Even at 80, if suddenly no goalkeeper would be there, they should call me – I would train briefly and then jump in."

 

BUFFON ON… MBAPPE

"He was born in 1998, right? I had already taken part in the World Cup in France before he was born. This is the joy of life, the great thing about lasting for a long time. You get to meet kids who weren't even born when you already had a good chunk of your career behind you.

"The other day, I worked out that I managed to connect practically three generations. I used to play with those born in the 1950s and 60s, then I'll end up playing against those born after the year 2000. It's an enormous stretch of time.

"It's stimulating knowing that you're facing the future Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Maybe in 10 years, when I have hung up my gloves, they will be the seasoned champions and I'll have the memory of playing against them at the start of their careers."

BUFFON ON… GOALS

"I scored lots of goals, and when a kid gets lots of goals it's the nicest thing in the world. Then you grow up, become stupid and become a goalkeeper, right? Then you just let goals in."

BUFFON ON… RONALDO

"The striker who caused me all kinds [of trouble] was Ronaldo, the Brazilian one. He was the perfect player, as he had power, speed, intuition, technical skills and quickness. He was a jaw-dropping player. It seemed like he was created in a lab."

BUFFON ON… RETIREMENT

"How do I imagine my last ever game? Maybe I'll go out like [Zinedine] Zidane, headbutting someone on the pitch!"

BUFFON ON… RESEARCH

"I don't watch penalties in my hotel room. I watch naughty videos."

BUFFON ON… MENTAL HEALTH

"To the fans it does not matter a damn how you are. You are seen as the footballer, the idol, so no one thinks to stop and ask you: 'Hey, how are you?'

"The problem was if I had said: 'I am going away for two months to get better' I would have been finished. Because every time after that, if I had failed with a save or whatever, I would have been reminded of that period. I just couldn't allow myself to go away for two or three months to get better.

"But I did see a psychologist and that helped me enormously. But it was something I had to re-evaluate. I thought psychologists were people who rob, figuratively of course, money from the insecure. But they are not. They are people who are there to help you and if you find a good psychologist, they will allow you to talk about everything and open up, without the slightest of fears, and that is no easy thing."

BUFFON ON… SQUAD NUMBERS

"I chose 88 because it reminds me of four balls and in Italy we all know what it means to have balls: strength and determination. And this season I will have to have balls to get back my place in the Italy team."

BUFFON ON… VAR

"You told us that VAR would be used in clear-cut incidents where there were mistakes, but now you are even checking the replays for a trodden toe or a finger in an ear. It's no longer football… it's turning into water polo. It takes too long. I didn't celebrate when we were awarded a penalty because six minutes had passed."

BUFFON ON… HIS GOAL

"More than 25 years ago I made my vow: I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies. I've always thought about your welfare, putting it first even ahead of my own.

"I was 12 when I turned my back on my goal. And I will keep doing it as long as my legs, my head and my heart will allow."

 

BUFFON ON... MICHAEL OLIVER

"The team gave its all, but a human being cannot destroy dreams like that at the end of an extraordinary comeback on a dubious situation.

"Clearly you cannot have a heart in your chest, but a bag of rubbish. On top of that, if you don't have the character to walk on a pitch like this in a stadium like this, you can sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, having your drink and eating crisps.

"You cannot ruin the dreams of a team. I could've told the referee anything at that moment, but he had to understand the degree of the disaster he was creating."

Buffon spoke after Oliver gave Real Madrid a late penalty that saw them knock Juve out of the Champions League. He was later punished by UEFA.

Vivianne Miedema and Stefanie van der Gragt headed the Netherlands to a 2-0 win over Italy and into the Women's World Cup semi-finals for the first time on Saturday.

Arsenal forward Miedema and defender Van der Gragt nodded in a pair of Sherida Spitse free-kicks in the space of 10 second-half minutes to break the stubborn Azzurre resistance.

The second strike extended Netherlands' tournament-high haul of headed goals to five and confirmed their passage into the final four, where they will face either Germany or Sweden.

Clear-cut chances had been rare throughout a match played in stifling heat in Valenciennes but Sarina Wiegman's side established control after half-time and were worthy winners in the end.

Netherlands were given an early reprieve when Valentina Bergamaschi spooned a tame finish into Sari van Veenendaal's gloves following Barbara Bonansea's flick-on header.

Bergamaschi scuffed a second shooting chance two minutes later as European champions Netherlands struggled to make use of their possession.

The first cooling break brought little disruption to the nature of proceedings, Valentina Giacinti firing wide off her left foot in the moments that followed.

Lieke Martens, who overcame a foot problem to start for the Oranje, tested Laura Giuliani with a well-taken volley in the 50th minute.

That effort marked the start of a better period for Netherlands that saw Danielle van de Donk hit the crossbar with a classy curling effort from beyond the box, before Spitse arrowed a low free-kick against the outside of the left post.

The latter instead turned provider as the breakthrough eventually came 20 minutes from full-time.

Spitse delivered an inviting free-kick from the left and Miedema guided a glancing header beyond the outstretched Giuliani, with the sealer from Van der Gragt following in similar circumstances 10 minutes later as Italy's impressive run came to an end.

Former Italy defender Alessandro Nesta has been appointed as the new head coach of Frosinone.

Marco Baroni was unable to prevent Frosinone's relegation from Serie A last season and his replacement in the dugout is former Lazio, AC Milan and Italy centre-back Nesta.

Frosinone confirmed Nesta's arrival on Monday, with the 43-year-old signing a two-year deal at Stadio Benito Stirpe.

Nesta started his coaching career in the United States with Miami FC and he led Perugia in Serie B last season, missing out on promotion through the play-offs.

Jamaica women’s football coach Hue Menzies believes the team was badly hurt by its inexperience on the back of a 5-0 drubbing from Italy, at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Saturday.

A hat-trick from Cristiana Girelli (12th, 25th and 46th) and a brace from Aurora Galli left the Jamaican team searching for answers once again, particularly defensively, after another heavy defeat.

Girelli got the Italians going from the penalty spot in the 12th minute after defender Allyson Swaby brought down Barbara Bonansea.  The shot was, however, only converted on a second attempt as Jamaica goalkeeper Sydney Schneider was penalised after a VAR review for moving off the line.  Girelli doubled the lead after latching on to the corner and beat Schneider to a header early in the second half.

  “Our inexperience showed.  We went out there and gave up a cheap goal.  I think it started from the first half with the penalty, it just bringing down the emotions of the players but hopefully, we can learn from this.  Hopefully, we can get more resources and play these types of games more often,” Menzies said.

“Italy played with a lot of class a lot of commitment and a lot of discipline we need to take a page out of their book.  They are a well-coached team so a lot of respect goes out to them,” he added.

 

Marco Verratti is a great player for Italy even though he looks "small and tiny", says coach Roberto Mancini.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder came up with a late winner to down Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

Lorenzo Insigne volleyed a stunning equaliser to cancel out Edin Dzeko's opener with the Napoli forward then setting up Verratti to snatch the points.

Italy have won all four of their matches in Group J with Mancini singling out Verratti for praise despite the diminutive midfielder's lack of height.

"Verratti is a great player, even if he looks small and tiny," Mancini told a news conference of the 26-year-old, who scored his third international goal.

"I'm happy but we'll lose one day because you can't always win. Verratti and Jorginho are very similar and they both have quality and class.

"But they are also helped by defenders as [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Giorgio] Chiellini always make good pressure on the opponents. All my players are very good.

"This is a very good Italy. We were in a really bad moment but now we are playing really nice football with great personality. We need to keep going like this to be considered one of the favourites in Euro 2020."

Dzeko's opener was the first goal Italy have conceded since October with Mancini impressed by the Azzurri's battling spirit as they came from behind.

"We are improving. It was not easy to come back against Bosnia because they have great players," he said.

"During the first half we could make more pressure on Bosnia but we did not. We were struggling a bit, but I think it's normal because we played just three days ago [a 3-0 away win over Greece].

"Bosnia played a wonderful game, but we knew it even before the game. They were unlucky against Finland [losing 2-0 on Saturday].

"We knew that this could be the most difficult game of the group. [Miralem] Pjanic and Dzeko played very well, we knew it.

"But we came back at the end and I'm happy for that because we showed great personality. We always try to score and that's positive."

Italy, who failed to qualify for the last World Cup, return to action with an away double-header against Armenia and Finland in September.

Lorenzo Insigne inspired Italy to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over battling Bosnia-Herzegovina in an absorbing Euro 2020 qualifier in Turin on Tuesday.

Napoli star Insigne volleyed in a brilliant equaliser soon after the interval and provided the pass for Marco Verratti's decisive 86th-minute strike as Roberto Mancini's men extended their winning run to five matches.

Edin Dzeko had given the impressive visitors a 32nd-minute lead – the first goal conceded by the Azzurri since October – and their performance merited at least a point.

It was not to be, though, as Robert Prosinecki's side lost ground on the top two in Group J, in which Italy have taken maximum points from their opening four matches.

 

Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic expects the Serie A champions to appoint a "great" coach amid links to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri has reportedly been granted a release by Premier League side Chelsea so he can replace Massimiliano Allegri on a three-year deal in Turin.

Allegri guided Juve to five successive Serie A titles before parting ways with the Italian giants at the end of 2018-19 and Pjanic has no concerns about the club's future.

"We are not worried at all, Juventus will be strong as always," Pjanic told reporters ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Euro 2020 qualifier against Italy on Tuesday.

"I'm really happy to play against Italy in Turin. I think my red card against Greece was not fair, fortunately they removed my ban because I wanted to play against Italy in my stadium so badly.

"I repeat, I'm not worried about Juventus. They'll announce the new manager soon. As everyone is saying, our new manager will be a great one, for sure."

Juve's Allianz Stadium will be the location for the qualifier between Italy and Bosnia, who will be boosted by the return of Pjanic.

Pjanic was sent off in Bosnia's 2-2 draw at home to Greece in March, having given the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Italy top Group J with three wins from as many games, five points clear of third-placed Bosnia.

"It was not simple [for Italy] to come back. It was possible thanks to the experience of [head coach Roberto] Mancini but also to the leaders of this group," Pjanic said.

"Great professional that helped a lot even the young players after a bad moment for the national team. It's very unusual a World Cup without Italy. They are playing great football, people like watching them playing. It wasn't easy. We know that they are the favourite of the group, we'll try to stop them. It will be a difficult match because they have lot of great players."

Leonardo Bonucci saluted the clarity of Roberto Mancini's philosophy and his faith in youth after overseeing an improvement since taking over Italy in May 2018.

Mancini was appointed after Gian Piero Ventura failed to guide Italy to the 2018 World Cup, falling to Sweden in a play-off the year before.

It was the first World Cup since 1958 Italy missed out on, leaving the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) certain a change was needed.

Mancini took over following Luigi Di Biasi's spell as caretaker and has not been shy about calling young players up to his squad, with Sandro Tonali, Moise Kean, Nicolo Zaniolo, Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Pellegrini all included at least once by the former Manchester City boss and Bonucci, a regular in Italy's squad since his international debut in 2010, has credited that refreshing approach.

"What's changed, above all, is our coach," Bonucci told a news conference.

"He came in with a very precise idea, which has gone on to spread throughout Italian football.

"Many young players have managed to impose themselves, each giving their own contributions."

Under Mancini's stewardship, Italy have won all three of their Euro 2020 qualifiers so far, beating Finland, Liechtenstein and Greece, scoring 11 goals and conceding zero across those fixtures.

Despite Mancini's commitment to youth, he has stuck with the experienced duo of Bonucci and his Juventus team-mate Giorgio Chiellini for two of the qualifiers.

And - ahead of Tuesday's clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group J, Bonucci acknowledged that his role in the squad is now to assist the development of Italy's less experienced players.

"What interests Chiellini and I is not conceding goals. We're able to create chances and it makes us happy when we take them," Bonucci added.

"Giorgio and I have a relationship of friendship and esteem, on and off the field, and we'll keep going until the end of both our careers.

"Our objective is to make players understand what it means to be in a team like the national team. A great group has been recreated."

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