Group B is undoubtedly the strongest at the upcoming Euro, and Italy, the defending champion from the last Euro, will also compete in it. Italy then made a big surprise by defeating England at Wembley, and it seems that an even bigger surprise would be if Italy defended the title. Already at the start, Italy will have very strong rivals, as they will compete against Spain, Italy and Albania in the group stage. This national team, like the previous time, is coming to the Euro after missing the world championship.
Italy won her second title after more than five decades
Few believed that Italy would become the champion of Europe after the missed world championship, but that’s exactly what happened at the previous Euro, which was held across Europe for the first time. In the end, the final was held at Wembley, and English fans hoped that England could finally become European champions, but a shock followed and Italy won the second title in history.
In this way, after 53 years, the Italians became European champions again. The national team led by Roberto Mancini from the bench at that Euro had more concentration when taking penalties and deservedly won the title. Italy won the first title back in 1968 and did it in a very interesting way. As at the previous Euro, this national team had to work hard to win the title.
In the semi-finals, Italy played 0-0 with the Soviet Union, and since there were no penalties after extra time, a coin was tossed and the Italians were lucky, thus securing a place in the final. In it, they met with Yugoslavia, and again the match ended in a 1-1 draw. This time there was no coin toss, but a new game was played and Italy won 2-0. Only four national teams participated in that Euro, and after more than five decades, the aforementioned national team won the edition of the Euro with 24 teams.
The Italians did their best at the Euros, which were held a year later due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was believed that the rise of this national team could follow, and then a new shock happened and Italy again missed the world championship, which this time was held in Qatar. The Italians did not allow a new surprise, so we will see them for the eighth time in a row at the UEFA Euro.
The Italians managed to resist the visit of Ukraine in the last round of qualification and that draw was enough to go to Germany. As we mentioned, Italy will not have any easy rivals there in the group stage, and it could very easily happen that it will be one of the groups from which the third-placed national team will go to the knockout stage. A little over a year ago, there was a change on the bench, so Italy is now led by Luciano Spalletti, who last season brought the title to Napoli in Serie A after many years of waiting.
Napoli is not shining this season and it is already clear that they will not defend the title, and we will have to wait another half a year to see if Italy will manage to do it in Germany. In the meantime, Mancini took the helm on the bench of Saudi Arabia, which will organize the World Cup in 2034, and Spalletti managed to secure a place at the Euros in the six games in which he led the Italians in the qualifiers. According to bookmakers ‘ estimates, Italy comes to the upcoming Euro as the seventh favorite. Throughout history, this national team has had much more success at world championships where it has won four titles.
In the group, they will compete with Spain, which they defeated in the semi-finals of the last Euro, but also with Croatia, the third-ranked team in the world, which Italy has not been able to beat in the previous eight meetings. The team’s biggest stars are Nicolo Barella, whose value is estimated at over 70,000,000 euros, and national team captain Ciro Immobile. As in previous years, Italy is decorated with a solid and compact defense, with Spalletti cultivating an attacking style of play with a quick transition.
The national team did not shine under his command, although he has been on the bench for less than a year. Italy did poorly in the draw precisely because they did not shine and found themselves only in the fourth pot before the draw. Spalletti is aware that his national team must provide much better games in Germany, especially if we take into account the very difficult rivals in the group stage.
“Italy, Spain, Croatia, Albania… Wait, are those national teams in the quarter-finals or in the Euro group? But whatever, it’s here. It won’t be easy for anyone against us, and we need a national team that plays well for 60 or 70 minutes and then it disappears to become a national team that maintains that level for 100 minutes.”