Italy is growing well, confident, relaxed, mature. None of the other twenty-three teams show up for the traveling European Championship with such a long streak of unbeaten games. Mancini arrived at twenty-seven and the last eight he won without conceding a goal. Everything works too well five days after the debut against the insidious Turkey. And this paradoxically is an alarm bell because the Azzurri, by tradition, are exalted and compacted in difficulties. This time the dynamics are different thanks to the work of Mancini and his brothers, from Vialli to Oriali, passing through Salsano and Lombardo, champions who know the rules of the game. On and off the pitch.
Il Corriere has created a special on the European 2021 with matches, teams, protagonists and results in real time: you can find it here
the national team, but it looks like a club. Italy fills the eyes, different and unpredictable, alternating the dribble to the counterattack, the game changes to the central pocket shots. Mancini also insists on attitudes. And not tender, as it may seem from the outside. The blue jersey is a privilege that must be deserved every day. So, after applauding the team that scored four goals against the Czech Republic, he got angry with reservists that Saturday morning, under the gloomy sky and the humid air of Coverciano, they let themselves be beaten by the excellent Under 20 of Alberto Bollini. Cangiano’s 1-0 in the first of the two 20-minute mini halves angered the coach Not because of the defeat itself, but because of the attitude of those who have to recover positions at the moment. The reference above all to Chiesa and Belotti, which could undermine Berardi and Immobile and instead appeared listless and inconclusive, but it can be extended to almost everyone.
Europeans 2021: all the insights
There was no shortage of extenuating circumstances: the lack of appeal of the test and the head already turned to the short vacation granted to the group (the team will meet tonight by 10pm in Coverciano). But the European at the gates. And don’t mess around. Mancini does not admit voltage drops. Moise Kean lost the blue jersey for having missed the first half against San Marino at the Sardegna Arena. It is not surprising that the coach expects more from his disciples. Whoever gets his attitude wrong, more than a goal or a play, risks being confined to a corner. The blue coach does not intend to turn Coverciano’s friendly into a case, but to get to Wembley everyone must feel involved. And today the distance between the owners and the reserves has increased rather than decreased. The eleven who started with the Czechs will play against Turkey even if the injured Verratti makes giant progress and could stand as candidates. Interchangeability is one of the secrets of this beautiful and playful team. I know that if Belotti plays instead of Immobile, the result does not change, the example of the coach on the night of Bologna. Applies to all roles. I have twenty-six players and all of them will be considered. But who behind has to make a move.
Awareness is another factor. Also that of feeling ready to challenge the world, that is, the most beautiful in the realm. In the Fifa ranking, the Azzurri climbed up to seventh place, a small boast after sinking to twenty-first due to the lack of qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Mancini has brought us back to the top, winning 23 out of 32 games with only two defeats. We haven’t lost for two and a half years. For we have never beaten a queen. And the worry that torments us. The Football Association, in the spring of 2020, had organized two high-level friendlies with England and Germany precisely to meet the coach’s needs. Covid has upset the plans. So today we can only trust this group, that compensates for the lack of physical prowess with the quality of the game.
It will be the European who will tell us where we are, if the gap is closed or if we still need to gain experience. Now against the middle bourgeoisie of Europe we are no longer wrong. This should be enough for us to cross the first phase with Turkey, Switzerland and Wales and also to overcome the second round, in which we risk crossing Holland. After that, however, it will be another story.
June 5, 2021 (change June 5, 2021 | 23:20)
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