Retegui shines on his debut for Italy and scores 2 goals in 2 Euro qualifying games
Argentinian by birth, striker Retegui has been surprising for his performances in the Italian national team, being undoubtedly the main highlight in Data Fifa.
Early career in Buenos Aires
Born in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, 23-year-old Retegui has Italian citizenship due to his Sicilian ancestry.
He was revealed by Boca Juniors, but without many opportunities, the athlete was constantly borrowed, and in recent years he played at Estudiantes and Talleres. However, it was in the modest Tigre that the player stood out and entered the sights of the Italian national team. The striker belongs to Boca Juniors and his loan bond with Tigre ends at the end of 2023.
In the 2022 season, playing for Tigre, the striker was the top scorer in the Argentine championship with 19 goals in 27 games. That year, he is still top scorer in the national championship, with 6 goals in just 8 games.
In total, for Tigre, the athlete has 51 games, 29 goals and 3 assists.
How Mateo Retegui plays
Despite his 1.85 meters, his specialty is not the aerial game, since, despite being right-footed, he manages to finish well with both legs, with a high volume of finalizations during the matches.
The attacker has good speed, with a wide stride, he managed to take advantage of the defenders in his first start, being a good weapon in transition bids.
He acts between the defenders, bothering and finding spaces at all times. He seeks to break free from the defense with diagonal movements, in addition to having a good reading of the last line, escaping from offside plays.
Call-up for Italy
Although he was previously called up for Argentina‘s youth teams, Mateo Retegui’s call up for the main team never happened, which opened the possibility for Roberto Mancini’s call him for the national team, who said he had been watching the player for some time:
“I called him because we lack players who score goals. We thought he was in doubt, but when I called him, he said yes. We’ve been following Retegui for a long time, he’s a young man and we hope he’ll be important for us.” Roberto Mancini, coach of Italy at Corriere dello Sport.
With the physical problems of Immobile, Raspadori and Scamacca, in addition to Belotti’s bad phase, the Italian-Argentine had his chance to debut for the Azzurra as a starter, against England, in a game valid for the Euro Cup qualifiers.
In the match, England started pressing and opened 2-0 with goals from Declan Rice and Harry Kane, from the penalty spot, scoring the goals for the English team, at 13 and 43 of the first half, respectively. The two goals came out in plays after corner kicks. With the goal, Kane overtook Rooney to become England’s top goalscorer with 54 goals.
At the beginning of the second half, Retegui scored after Pellegrini’s beautiful pass, finishing coolly, with no chance for Pickford. Despite the expulsion of Luke Shaw, at the end of the game, England managed to hold the Italian pressure and secured the victory, thus ending a fast, in which the English had not beaten the Italians in official matches for 46 years.
In the next game, against Malta, Italy won, but did not convince. With two goals at the beginning of the first half, a thrashing against the fragile Malta was expected, however the score stopped there, with goals from Retegui (once again) and Guillaumier (own), ending in 2-0.
With the young goal he equaled three players who scored in their first two games for the Italian national team, Riccardo Orsolini (2020), Enrico Chiesa (1996) and Giorgio Chinaglia (1972).
Data Fifa was not very favorable for the current Euro champion, however Retegui’s debut brought new hope to the Italians in charge of attack.
What are your expectations with Retegui? Will he be able to achieve what is expected of him?
Written by Henry Miller.