Friday, July 02, 2021

The best Italy ever

One of the reasons I have had a difficult time supporting Italy over the years is their defensive and awaiting style. I have always felt that they have the players to put more pressure and use their attacking skills, while combining their defensive capabilities, surely some of the best in the world.

Roberto Mancini's Italy has these qualities, and it is impossible not to fall in love with this Italian side, and today against Belgium (whom I supported) they were truly a better side against a Belgian side that managed to create good chances (not a mean feat against this Italy), but who were surely outplayed by a better Italian side, winning 2-1 on goals by Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne. Belgium's weaknesses, that had been exposed by Denmark and Portugal in previous matches were just too obvious against the Italians, and a disappointed Belgium will have to go home in the quarterfinals just as they did in 2016.

Italy looks like the team to beat to take the title, and they will now face Spain in a repeat of the 2012 Euro final (won by Spain) and the 2016 last-16 match, (won by Italy). Italy will surely be the favourites after today's match, but also because Spain did not impress at all in its penalty-kicks victory over Switzerland who, with a bit of fortune, could have pulled another surprise as they did against France. 

Spain-Italy matches are by definition impossible to predict, but  I think that this Italy side will be the favourite of any neutral fan, including myself!

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