FIFA WWC 2023: 16 Year Old Giulia Dragoni Plays First Game, And She Was Excellent!

Giulia Dragoni wears the No. 16 shirt -corresponding to her age

In every competition, there is by all accounts, a new exciting player that pops up. This year is no exception at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The ongoing competition is already seeing a moment that will live lengthy in the memory of many people, especially the player who is currently the centre of attention- Giulia Dragoni.

The 16-year-old started her first game for Italy against Argentina on Monday July 24, and she’s just phenomenal!.

Dragoni – born on November 7, 2006 – started the Group G match in Italy’s midfield and became the youngest player to represent his country, Italy in the competition’s history. She is the second-youngest European to play at the competition, as per FIFA.

Nicknamed ‘Little Messi,’ Dragoni is wearing the No. 16 shirt – similar to her age.

Interestingly, 39-year-old Vanina Correa was in goal for Argentina – she had previously made her debut for her nation when Dragoni was born.

And the youngster had an incredible impact in Italy’s first match against Argentina. The young Barcelona player produced energy and quality in the centre of the pitch prior to being substituted in the 83rd minute.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™: Full Match Dates And Venues

Italy, who were quarterfinalist in 2019 was the most grounded team all through the opening game for the two sides at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, with some late quality from Cristiana Girelli demonstrating decisive as Italy won 1-0.

The initial first half was fairly a good game as both Arianna Caruso and Valentina Giacinti had goals refused for offside, simply making their individual runs partially too soon.

After the break, with both sides not wanting to lose their opening game, chances were few and far between with the teams prioritizing the avoidance of mistakes over attacking carelessness.

Vanina Correa in the Argentina goal was called into action to make a few routine stops but the midfield stalemate was the main contest with both sides canceling each other out for the most part.

Coaches of either side attempted to change the progression of the game by giving push from the bench – and it was an Italy substitute who had the effect.

Girelli, the oldest player in the Azzurre team, replaced Dragoni late and only a couple of moments later showed why she’s become a legend for the country, as her circling header gave Italy a late lead.

It was a quality display from Girelli, scoring her 54th international goal on her 104th appearance and, all the more critically, giving Italy a crucial three points to start its World Cup campaign.

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