ITALY bolstered their hopes of reaching Euro 2024 last night – despite love rivals Nicolo Zaniolo and Mattia Zaccagni both being involved in the side.
Following the 1-1 draw with North Macedonia on Saturday, Luciano Spalletti made a number of changes to his team for the clash at the San Siro.
And they paid dividends for the Azzurri as they beat Ukraine 2-1 thanks to a brace from Davide Frattesi to climb above their rivals to second in table-topping England’s Group C.
However, celebrations in the dressing-room may have been slightly awkward for two of their starting XI due to their love lives off the pitch.
Lazio’s 28-year-old winger Zaccagni, winning his third cap, is married to influencer Chiara Nasti, who just happens to be now Aston Villa ace Zaniolo’s ex.
Nasti and Zaniolo split in 2021, and not long afterwards it was confirmed that she was dating his fellow Italian ace.
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The couple then welcomed their baby boy, Theo, into the world in November before getting married two months later.
But the love triangle made headlines in May 2022 when Roma supporters, the bitter rivals of neighbours Lazio, chanted “Zaccagni's son is Zaniolo's” at the latter during the Europa Conference League victory celebrations after his matchwinner secured them the trophy.
Footage showed Zaniolo laughing during the chant, although it remains unclear whether his amusement was over the derogatory lyrics.
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But that led to Nasti turning off the comments on her social media account.
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Then both Zaniolo and Zaccagni were called up by Italy by then-manager Roberto Mancini for a clash against Argentina days later.
However, Zaniolo withdrew from the squad and that led to reports of tension between him and Zaccagni despite claims he had an ankle injury.
Zaniolo left Roma for Galatasaray in a £13m deal in February but headed to England to join Aston Villa on loan this summer.
But the Italian has played only 42 minutes of Premier League football so far for Unai Emery's side this term.
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