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Future Azzurri Stars

Future Azzurri Stars

Future Azzurri Stars

Fast forward four years to EURO 2020. Italy are the first team to qualify for the Round of 16 with two 3-0 wins, followed by a 1-0 win over Wales by a second-string side. They look the most dangerous thus far and stand a good chance of a deep run in the prestigious tournament. Many pundits were focusing on the likes of Portugal, France. England and Germany as favourites & the likes of Turkey as dark-horses. Gli Azzurri were rarely mentioned, rarely under the spotlight. They are now showing why this new era of Italian Football is looking like circa. 2006. But how did we get to this point? To answer that, we have to go back to the appointment of Roberto Mancini on May 14th 2018.

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Speaking to FIFA.com, Mancini was asked what his approach was when taking the reigns at the national team. Simply he described his approach as doing things differently than they were done before. Sounds pretty cliched, doesn’t it? That being said, for the situation Italian football was in, it was the perfect formula. Mancini turned to youth, bringing in a crop of young and promising players who would be able to adapt to the style of play Mancini wanted to implement — a more aggressive attacking one in Mancini’s favoured 4-3-3 set-up. For too long, Italian fans had been witness to boring, uninspiring football with no flair. Mancini changed that. Italian football had a history of extravagant football with world-class players long ago, and bringing that back to the forefront was crucial. In their 35 matches since Mancini took over, his side has scored 86 goals. A pretty impressive ratio.

Italy isn’t one of the favourites, but one of the dark horses to win EURO 2020, and that won’t bother them. The Azzurri have thrived for 3 years now, out of the spotlight regularly placed on World Champions France, European Champions Portugal, the always favoured Germans or the England side with high expectations on the young squad’s shoulders. It’s been a miraculous period for Italian football, a story of a journey from disappointment, despair and delusion at the bottom of the European football mountain to the short pass the connects to the peak. It’s a peak that Mancini’s men can very likely reach. It starts with a European championship, a feat that won’t be easy against the powerhouses of the continent, but if achieved can truly propel Italy to complete the journey of redemption amidst a narrative of the Gli Azzurri renaissance. It’s a journey that has well and truly saved the culture of football in Italy. (Source: thesweepsports.com)

 

 

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