You all will have seen Italy overcoming one of the tournament favourites Australia yesterday but not too much has been spoken about Italy prior to the tournament, or at least I initially wasn’t looking at Le Azzurre to progress far. The hero of the day with the winning goal, deep in injury time was Juventus forward, Barbara Bonansea.
The 27-year-old forward is just one shy of her fiftieth international cap which she will expect to earn on Friday when her side takes on Jamaica at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims.
Bonansea is comfortable on the left wing or as an attacking midfielder. She is a direct player who is dangerously fast when dribbling with the ball, just like two of the players she cites as role models, Ryan Giggs and Luis Figo. Comfortable on both feet makes Bonansea difficult to defend against, as the Matildas will testify!
Bonansea has averaged 15 goals per season over the past five years and has won four Italian league titles in the last six years. This season the former Torino and Brescia player was a vital player for Juve as they won their second consecutive league title and made it a cup double with Coppa Italia win against Fiorentina. She finished the season as fourth top goalscorer in the league, just one behind Eniola Aluko.
So with Bonansea up front, I am now looking at Italy to be a side that could progress deep into the latter stages of the tournament.