July 1, 2022

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Italy, before possible joy after sadness

Italy, before possible joy after sadness

The Italian national team will conclude, at the end of 2022, one of the strangest World Cup tournaments in historyThe frustration of staying at the gates of the 2018 World Cup in Russia seemed to be forgotten when Roberto Mancini won Euro 2020, but another setback in the continental qualifiers left Azzura out of the World Cup for the second consecutive edition, an unprecedented event.

Italy would not be the first European champion to miss a World Cup final: Czechoslovakia could not retain the title they won in Yugoslavia in 1976; Denmark gave the note in Sweden 1992, but it was not enough to reach the most important tournament of the selections; And Greece, the other great contemporary surprise of the old continent, has yet to go global after winning the gold medal at Portugal 2004. However, none of these countries have been responsible for one of the most traditional, distinguished and enduring national teams on the planet.

if it was Sweden lost in November 2017 can be called The date of death is foretoldafter two World Cups, the one that came immediately after his fourth star, and in which the Azores did not go beyond the group stage, What happened before unknown North Macedonia in March of this year can be considered Unexpected roleswhere they arrived under the leadership of Mancini with the title of European Champions.

“Catastrophe”, “To Hell”, “Tragedy”, “Incredible” and “instant ciamo“Some of the country’s most important media headlined after the setback in Palermo. The fallout from the defeat, which wasn’t in the plans, was too great, but Italy (also) lost points in qualifying against Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Bulgaria, so the Swiss representatives were given the rating.

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Last year, when Argentina and Italy were in the midst of two continental victories that had to wait 18 and 53 years, respectively, CONMEBOL and UEFA arranged the dispute over Finala kind of reissue of the extinct Artemio Franchi Cup, a prelude to the FIFA Confederations Cup as well.

Although the Argentina national team had a smoother road to Qatar than its European counterpart, it was difficult to predict the absence of a World Cup powerhouse that was in nimble form after Austria, Belgium, Spain and England left on their way to the European Championship. 2020, postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the elimination of Italy complete, Finalissima, designed as a party to celebrate the titles of America and Europe on the eve of the World Cup, acquires special value: Argentina will take the match as preparation for Qatar (it will be an interesting test, as they have only faced a European team in their 31 unbeaten matches: 2-2 in October 2019 against defeated Germany), but Italy did, at the legendary Wembley Stadium, an opportunity to smile amid adversity, Sow a seed that can germinate until 2026.

At the same venue, just under eleven months ago, Gianluigi Donnarumma, the cornerstone of Mancini’s substitute after failing to qualify for Russia, became a penalty shootout champion against the local team.

Winning a title, even if it wasn’t official, against a team that hadn’t lost in nearly three years, would give the Azuras a chance. The calm necessary to face the coming months of work, although no outcome can cover the pain of losing another World Cup, the third in its history and the second in a row. (Sweden 1958 and Russia 2018).

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The leadership decision, with the expert coach’s support, responds to the idea of ​​sustaining the project, which began four years ago and includes the young Federico Chiesa, Nicolo Barilla, Alessandro Bastoni, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Sandro Tonali, Manuel Locatelli, Gianluca Scamacca, Giacomo Raspadori, Diffi Frattisi and Donnarumma mentioned above, as well as the aforementioned veterans Marco Puccio, Lierogno and Belleroni and Domenico Berardi, as brilliant characters.

The World Champion team of 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 not only made their presence at the European Championship, but also reached the fourth final of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League – and the next edition is perhaps the most realistic goal in the short term – and Consecutive 37 games without defeat between 2018 and 2021 (30 wins and 7 draws, with 93 goals in his favour, 12 against him), The greatest unbeaten in the history of the national football team. In the semi-finals of the new European Championship, Spain took revenge and put an end to its last executioner’s mistake.

Mancini indicated in a press conference that this match will not relieve the pain of absence from the World Cup, and announced:end of session“Giorgio Chiellini was kicked through. However, he slipped that he wouldn’t take extreme measures.” This does not mean that 15 or 20 players will disappear. The day after tomorrow some footballers will come in because we need them to gain experience.”

And Bonucci, the team leader, since Thursday, as a replacement for his historical partner Khalaf, agreed with the coach: “It still hurts a lot. We made a lot of mistakes and that’s why we didn’t qualify for the World Cup, it’s our fault. We are writing history in this stadium and tomorrow it will be A very important game to start from scratch And putting Italy where it has always been. “Maybe that was what the Italian final was all about: starting from scratch.

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Starting at 3:45 p.m. this Wednesday (7:45 p.m. local time), in the temperate city of London, there will be a match that appears to be on an equal footing, but Opposite facts will be presentedA team celebrating, perhaps for the last time, the glory achieved at the Maracana, another bowing its head and looking forward, aiming to come back again, like on Sunday, July 11, 2021, with curiosity also at Wembley.

In addition to giving him a title promoted by the two most important continental confederations, a victory over the brave Albiceleste would allow Italy, by the way, to smile in the midst of a grief that could be left behind in just four years, when they have a chance to fight again for a fifth World Cup. Reconstruction could begin in a few hours, in the final against Argentina.