The story of Italy at Euro 2020 is the story of an unexpected and thrilling rush. After the missed qualification to the Russia 2018 World Cup, expectations were high. Literally, everyone was watching. This time, the team didn’t disappoint.
Italy at Euro 2020, the best moments (so far)
No one believed Italy would make it to the Euro 2020 final. Sure, supporters and experts predicted the national team would make it through the group phase. In fact, it played against Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales. How hard could it be? Not that hard for coach Mancini’s players, who only took one goal during the group phase of the European tournament.
However, considering how far Switzerland went in Euro 2020, it wasn’t an easy opponent. Then, it was time to the neighbor Austria. And that wasn’t an easy game. It’s when Italy at Euro 2020 truly suffered, almost missing the qualification to the quarterfinal. But the strength of the team pushed through and next, it was time to face Belgium.
The game against Belgium
This time, all odds were against Mancini’s players. Belgium has always been considered a strong contender and a scary rival. At least, everyone else thought they were scary. Despite Belgium’s penalty at the 47th minute of the game, the national team didn’t frighten. And, a few minutes later, the referee sent Italy to the semifinals.
Italy at Euro 2020: the penalties against Spain
Spain, the team of the red furies and of champions. After the eliminations of Germany and France, Spain was the last “big” team left in Euro 2020 -according to the bookmakers. Once again, people were looking at Italy, but they were skeptical. The goal of Federico Chiesa made everyone dream, despite the Spanish’s possession and continuous offense. Then, the cold shower only 10 minutes before the end. It was extra time and then penalties. The rest is only history.
Is it the final yet?
The team’s dedication and determination inspired Italian supporters, who once again rallied in front of screens -in squares and at home. Soccer always had the power to inspire the country, giving it the hope that politics and everyday life doesn’t give. This is the dream, not only for Mancini’s players. The final is against England in London’s stadium Wembley. The pressure is on.
“England is physical and it has technical players,” Italian player Marco Verratti said, “it’s solid and balanced. It would be a dream to win against team in their own turf. I’m happy to be here, really.” Although the final game isn’t easy to prepare, everyone will be ready. Coach Roberto Mancini agrees.
“We are happy to have gifted beautiful nights to Italian fans, but it’s not over yet,” said Mancini, “we need to find our energies back and play for the final. I always believed in our players, despite no one else did. I knew we could achieve great things and up until now, we did it.”