A few days after Italy’s debut with Turkey, it is worth recording a historical fact, almost unbelievable for a country like ours, always in the throes of some uncontrollable nervous breakdown. The fact is this: the national team not only wins and makes a show, but everyone agrees in a climate of shared enthusiasm that has few precedents in our football history. Of course it is difficult to challenge a national team that hasn’t lost in 27 games and has always won in the last 8 without even collecting a goal. How difficult it is not to be impressed by the ease with which the Azzurri got rid of the Czech Republic.
You will say: okay, but it wasn’t much of a commitment. Easy to blame the weakest, etc. But the unprecedented fact is precisely this: that in many other vigils not very far away (how can we forget those in which we then won the world championship?) We ended up being put on the cross by mediocre opponents. With a set of whistles, controversies, criticisms of poison: but where does this national team want to go? Don’t let us make the usual figures! Why hasn’t Tizio been summoned in place of Gaius? In some cases there was even talk of conspiracies, mafias and mafiettes, favoritism towards the North in a crescendo of insults and very heavy accusations. And sometimes, in a country where we are all technical commissioners, it even came to the parliamentary interpellation.
Now, not a breath of wind blows. Calm flat. All compact, all aligned. The chorus is unanimous: Roberto Mancini is very good, the game is beautiful and unscrupulous, there is harmony, beauty, the desire to do well and go far. Even Arrigo Sacchi, insatiable by definition, says it is a beautiful, united, carefree Italy. An Italy that makes possession, restart, pressing and doubling. Arrigo did not use the word “intensity” as he did with his Milan, but we are close to it.
At this point, there are two cases: either the national team, which has always been considered somewhat the mirror of the country, has really changed for the better, and has regrouped after the disaster of the failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, or it is the case to go back to those old, healthy rules of sport that suggest: calm, chalk and well-stretched steps. Not that it is necessary to start slaughtering ourselves again, or to regret the old controversies; but just to avoid sudden awakenings, it is better not to overheat the cauldron of waiting.
We are good, very talented, we easily overcome non-insurmountable obstacles against which we crashed before, but let’s not forget that the big boys, like Germany and England, also because of Covid, have not crossed them for some time. How will our “magnificent boys” react to the Teutonic power or the aggressiveness of the British? Will they have strong nerves? The ability to react when the going gets tough?