Friday, June 29, 2012

Great Germany, fantastic Italy

As so often before, I was wrong about one thing: history repeated itself once more in last night's semifinal match between Italy and Germany. Italy was again better than Germany in an important match, much to the disappointment of the Germans that surely has been one of the most entertaining teams of the tournament, and surely it is a shame to see them out. However, they can hold their heads high (perhaps except for the pathetic mistakes by Mats Hummels and Phillip Lahm in defense that gave Italy their two goals) for contributing to the best match of the tournament. Additionally, Germany has a young team with what I believe is a great future, and they will eventually win a tournament.
And as I said before, Germany have had great fans who should be prud of their side.
Italian fans have nevertheless all the reason to be proud. I have always been very critical of Italian sides, not least when they won the 2006 World Cup, but this Italian side I like very much; they play intelligent offensive football. In Andrea Pirlo they have the best best player of the tournament, a general towering above a solid and harmonious side where also Marchissio, Montelivo, Chiellini and Cassano all have had a great tournament. And of course, Mario Balotelli. His second goal apparently reached the speed of 120 Km/h! An extraordinary shot in the two goals by the controversial player who dedicated the goals to his adoptive mother. A wonderful player who deserves the best, he will be a constant danger in the final.
Spain and Italy have reversed roles: where before Italy seemed to be the cynical and experienced side that ran away with the victories, they are now the side that will attract much sympathy, while Spain, who in previous times have been supported for their offensive yet naive style, will now be the towering favourites to take a new title. It won't be easy though against a motivated Italian side that has been improving throughout the tournament, and both Croatia and Portugal have shown that Spain can be shaken.
In any case, we should all look forward for the final on Sunday!

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