There is supposed to be magic in every new beginning, but at the moment it just doesn’t seem so magical. When Italy now meet Germany in the Nations League (Saturday, 8.45pm, Bologna), the European champions’ country can only hope that Squadra will not fall apart completely and may not be forgotten. The Germans write in Italian newspapers that the Germans will treat Italy as a sparring partner in preparation for the World Cup in Qatar, for which, as is known, they themselves could not qualify. When not turning into a punch ball.
The azure light was gone, as if it had been turned off. And that weighs somewhat twice as much, because this almost fatally predictable light took place on Wednesday evening at Wembley in London – in the “final” of the national team of European champions against South American champions and Italy against Argentina, in dramatic form 0: 3.
Eleven months ago, the Italians won the European Championships at Wembley – happy and carefree. Roberto Mancini’s team has inspired even people who wouldn’t like them otherwise. “There is nothing left of the European Championship lions: neither the game, nor the soul, nor the joy,” he writes now Gazzetta dello sport. Just go from here. subordinate Corriere della Sera He uses the image of the crazy elevator that first took Italy to the skies of Europe and is now dragging it into the abyss: “Untracked, ugly, lost.”
A score in a selfie – it won’t go away so fast
The difference against Argentina was so big, in every way, that it hurt. Had goalkeeper Gianluigi ‘Giggio Donnarumma’ not been somewhat at the height of his highly acclaimed but not always compensated talent, the Argentines would have won more. It must be said that Leo Messi has once again been an extraordinary inspiration and eager to run, which almost always and every opponent leads to a medium-sized disaster. So do the Argentines Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez: everywhere and everywhere at the same time.
However, according to Italy, a European champion should not explode from the inside like this. Such a defeat tears apart the anomaly in the self-image, which then does not go away so quickly.
“I am preparing for a difficult stage,” said coach Mancini several times after the 0:3 minute, in his new matching gray suit. And although no one asked him, he added that he was full of enthusiasm, and he almost had a lot of it. really?
When Italy failed in the World Cup playoff against North Macedonia, the country almost collectively knelt Comissario Technico From Jesi at Marche, please don’t leave the team now. At first it looked as if Mancini would give up, despite his contract until 2026. After all, the man has a market and the clubs will pay him even better than the Italian Football Association, which is already paying well: four million euros a year. Paris Saint-Germain? Premier League club? Roberto Mancini remains as if he feels a patriotic obligation. But perhaps he should speak for himself about the enthusiasm that he wants so much. Mancini also said he would like to train every day, which again seemed like a mistake.
“Refundazione”! But with whom should the startup succeed?
Now is the time for a single caesarean section Refundazione, new company – the term became a mantra in Italy. The only thing missing is the right staff that would fill this transition with some hope. And not even one in three Serie A players are in Serie A, reducing supply. The winning team in European markets was a bit exhausted in several positions. Captain Giorgio Chiellini said goodbye in London at the age of 37. His friend and defensive partner of ten long years, Leonardo Bonucci, has yet to prove that he too can be a boss – and he doesn’t have much time, he’s already 35. Bonucci now has to get along with Alessandro Bastoni, the successor to “Chiello”.
Mancini also uninvited three players to his 23-team squad for the Nations League: Marco Verratti, who was a little sick again, and who will surely return at some point; Lorenzo Insigne, who immigrated to Canada – and the constantly frustrated midfielder Jorginho. Of all the European champions, the naturalized Brazilian is perhaps the most exciting after the failure of EM. Last year, Jorginho was still being traded as a potential world footballer, so he mentored the Italians and Chelsea. After missing two crucial penalties in the World Cup qualifiers, he was almost unrecognizable. The insecure Jorginho is the mirror of Azzurri.
Sandro Tonali’s time in midfield will soon begin, the 22-year-old is just a champion with Milan. In Italy, Tonali is a mix of Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, and Daniele De Rossi, and you have to put up with that at first. Inside it, Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Manuel Locatelli (Juventus) and Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), are growing without a strong guarantee.
Department of concern is still the storm. In the last nine official matches, with the exception of the friendly match against Turkey, the Italian team scored only ten goals – five of them against Lithuania. Wherever you look: There is no hope this low-goal situation will change anytime soon. Andrea Belotti, Torino Calcio player, who recently played in the ninth match against Argentina, has not scored for the national team in over a year. Ciro Immobile is a club phenomenon, with Lazio Roma veteran breaking records after records – only for Italy he has never succeeded in anything.
Then there is Gianluca Scamaca and Giacomo Raspadori from the United States Sassuolo Calcio: but who outside Italy has heard of Scamaca and Raspadori, except for the beginners? Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo will need a little more personal control to avoid wasting his immense talent, much like Mario Balotelli’s wasting a lot of time. And the country can expect a lot from Federico Chiesa – once he’s fully recovered from a torn cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Leonardo Spinazzola is back and this is probably the best news in recent memory. Spina broke half of the world’s hearts when he tore his Achilles tendon during the European Championships, which he lights up with his run down the left wing. He’s back now, not like before, but still: his shape should suffice for a bit of magic.