Tonight the final of the Under 21 European Championship will be played, Portugal and Germany will face each other, reaching the bottom for the third consecutive time.
Italy abandoned the competition in the quarter-finals against Portugal. The feeling is that the azzurrini went beyond themselves, managing to compete until Lovato was sent off in extra time against a stronger opponent.
The coach Nicolato did an excellent job because he gave a soul and a team organization that improved the level of the individuals in the performance.
He confirmed it Rui Jorge, the coach of Portugal Under 21 who gave his boys the example of Italy: “They have soul, if we have to lose we must do it like them”
There are the numbers that nail, however, the gap that Italy has towards the two finalists tonight.
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The gap in the squads is clear: Italy has 13 players in Serie B
In football there are levels that are formed with experience, the personality is cultivated by getting used to playing important games.
The Italy Under 21 team has thirteen players who played last season in Serie B, Portugal only two: Janelt in the Championship and Dany Mota at Monza in the Italian Serie B. Germany even has only one player in Serie B: Appelkamp, attacking winger of Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Portugal, which eliminated Italy, have eight players who faced the European cups last season, Nicolato’s group not even one. Cutrone he only has some experience in the Europa League between Milan and Wolverhampton.
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The difference starts from the paths, just think of the block of Porto players who won the Youth League, another very formative adventure.
The gap is structural, it refers to the organization, to investments in the youth sectors, to the provision of a system that enhances talents. Just give an example: against the Netherlands IN the semifinals for Germany he scored a brace Florian Wirtz.
We are talking about a class of 2003 who only turned eighteen on May 3 and at Bayer Leverkusen in the last season he took home 38 overall appearances, of which 7 in the Europa League.
Would it have happened in Italy? Are there 18-year-olds in Italy of the level of Wirtz? If not, why?
It would be appropriate to find sensible answers to these questions because even the golden roll of the Under 21 European Championship photographs the disaster in which we are now immersed. Italy has not won it since 2004, since the days of De Rossi, Zaccardo and Gilardino, the last final (lost against Spain of De Gea, Isco, Morata, Koke) dates back to 2013. In that group there were Florenzi, Insigne, Immobile and Verratti, hopes of Italy that faces the European championships in five days.