The most eagerly anticipated meeting is about to begin.
It is the ambition of all athletes, and it is the desire of two nations, the English and the Italians, who came together to witness their teams reach a historic final that will reignite their passion after years of setbacks and disappointments.
Italy, as usual, has resorted to superstition by pressuring the Italian Republic’s President to take part in this spectacular display.
It’s been a fantastic road for Italy to the Euro 2020 final, where they will face England. History recalls that when Sandro Pertini accompanied the national team to Germany in 1982 and Giorgio Napolitano accompanied Italy to Germany in 2006, the Azzurri raised the World Cup to the sky: another reason to wish and obtain Sergio Mattarella’s presence at Wembley this Sunday.
According to the newspaper “Repubblica,” the state flight has already been booked, and Mattarella is prepared to sing the Mameli hymn in the stands alongside many millions of Italians who will be sat in front of the television.
With the spread of the Delta strain in the United Kingdom, which had put the old Sicilian President’s trip in jeopardy, the decision was confirmed following verification of various health difficulties.
Former president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi touched the most delicate assignment when he was present at the final of the European Championships in France on July 2, 2000.
After losing against David Trezeguet’s squad, he went to the Rotterdam stadium locker rooms to console the players and ease their disappointment, and then appointed them Knights of the Republic once he returned to Italy.
ITALY’S STRENGTH: KING KONG CHIELLINI AND DONNARUMMA The victory over Spain did not leave the team feeling lucky, but it did reaffirm the conviction that the team is capable of suffering and winning in the face of adversity.
The conviction in Italy today is that the national team, with a spirit of flexibility and a strong defense, can defeat the competition’s favorites.
Italy, according to Leonardo Bonucci, is “a squad of resilient players” capable of battling everyone while maintaining strength and clarity.
Italy has a very powerful formation, especially in defence: Gianluigi Donnarumma is unquestionably the finest goalkeeper in the world right now, while Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, and Emerson Palmieri are four difficult rocks to overcome.
Even with the strength of Harry Kane, England will face the worst possible opponent in a huge match and will have to fight against a very tough wall that will be difficult to break through.
If Chiellini, the Italian defensive center, can stop Kane, Italy has a 51% probability of winning the game before the end of the regular 90 minutes.
The possibility of the huge match going into extra time exists, and it is a risk, especially for Italy, given the weariness acquired by the players in this period, against Austria and Spain, in the sweltering heat that has engulfed all of Europe’s cities.
Chiellini is a true leader in the Italian team, but there are concerns about his fitness levels. His general physical condition is barely adequate, and there is a worry of a physical collapse, as indicated by the team’s recent ‘light’ workouts.
The Azzurri’s defensive performance is a guarantee of success in large international matches, and England will have to expend a lot of energy in order to score.
Chiellini is worshipped as a pagan God in Italy, and his teammates are well aware that his physical training these days is critical to ensuring Euro 2020 triumph.
The national team’s greatest fear is that Chiellini would experience calf fatigue immediately before or during the big match: his muscle frailty is one of the key causes for Mancini’s sleepless nights – he hopes his captain is in top physical shape to face Kane.
The Tottenham striker dreams of winning by scoring a goal, he wants to triumph with his national team by legitimately joining the history of England, and in order to do so, he must be able to win the close fight with ‘King Kong’ Chiellini.
Donnarumma is another one of Italy’s certainties.
In Italy, the PSG goalkeeper was crucial on penalties as well as for the entire 120 minutes against Spain.
A promise of excellence, as well as amazing physical and mental strength
An increasingly dependable goalkeeper, both domestically and internationally, who will be tasked with hypnotising Kane and Sterling.
ITALY’S WEAK POINTS Italy’s weak point is the lack of a genuine great centre-forward capable of posing a threat in front of John Stones and Harry Maguire.
Ciro Immobile has been strongly chastised so far and has been absent from two crucial matches, against Spain and Belgium.
He was the worst player on the pitch and had a cold sore as a result of the stress of these weeks.
Ciro Immobile has been heavily chastised for his performances in the Italian forward line this European Championship, and while Andrea Belotti may have deserved a particular moment in the final, Roberto Mancini has expressed a wish to push Immobile in order to turn him into the Wembley hero.
‘Immobile does not have to fear, generally the players who are heavily criticized are the ones who determine the tournament,’ Roberto Mancini said after the victory over Belgium in a press conference.
ITALY HAS NIGHTMARES FOR KANE AND STERLING England’s strength is in the defensive line, and there will be a major battle between Bonucci and Chiellini, as well as the Maguire/Stones combination.
A battle between the might of the youthful English defenders, both under 30, and the experience of the Italians.
There is a great deal of dread and respect in Italy for Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, who are the two most feared forwards by the Italian defense.
There are suspicions in Italy that Raheem Sterling (left) and Harry Kane could cause them issues. To neutralize the two English centre-forwards, Bonucci and Chiellini will have to play a perfect match.
In preparation for Sunday’s huge match against England, the captain is undertaking a special physical preparation to obtain 100 percent of his physical talents.
He’ll mostly be dealing with Kane; it’ll be a battle between two players with similar physiques who will be able to try their hand at a huge international competition while wearing the national team’s jersey for the first time, after having played in countless Champions League clashes in matches between Juventus and Tottenham.
In the final, Leonardo Bonucci will be entrusted with holding England’s attackers at bay. Bonucci will be Chiellini’s main ally in the defensive grip that will be tasked with containing Kane, while right-back Di Lorenzo will be on the lookout for Sterling.
TWINS OF DIFFERENT MOTHERS: SOUTHGATE AND MANCINI.
THEN THERE’S THE PICKFORD PROBLEM Gareth Southgate is well-liked in Italy for his grace and British charm.
According to Fabio Capello, who spoke exclusively to Sportsmail, the two coaches are quite similar in terms of their ability to motivate a group of players and their tactical reading of games.
Their strength is that they are always willing to talk to players who, when faced with a variety of options, are compelled to consider extremely complex strategic scenarios.
In Italy, fans have a lot of love for England manager Gareth Southgate. They also have a lot of sympathy for the goalkeeper problem: if Donnarumma was the finest goalkeeper in the championship, Pickford, after a brilliant start, showed a lot of uneasiness in the last match against Denmark.
Southgate is doing his best to manage the Everton goalkeeper, attempting to instill confidence and calmness in him during this amazing European journey, which has seen him alternate between magnificent individual displays and blunders that put England in jeopardy.
MANCINI HAS ALREADY BECOME A NATIONAL HERO: EVEN IN DEFEAT, HE IS UNTOUCHABLE Italy has already discovered a new wizard capable of turning stones into gold nuggets.
Mancini is already a national hero, and even if Italy loses to England, he will be the man to take them to the next World Cup in Qatar.
His future is certain; he will continue to coach the Italian national team, to which he has returned dignity and difficult-to-reach historical records.
Italy’s tremendous growth during Roberto Mancini’s tenure has secured his status. The only European Championship won by Italy was in 1968, when Ferruccio Valcareggi was the coach.
Mancini wants to win this trophy so that his career as an Italy manager will be immortalized by having his photo displayed alongside that of the former coach who led Italy to victory in 1968 in Coverciano’s Aula Magna – the hall of fame for winning Italian managers like as Pozzo, Bearzot, and Lippi.
Mancini aspires to complete his sporting development as Italy’s coach, which began three years ago amid widespread skepticism and the ruins of Italy headed by Giampiero Ventura.
Italy needed to be rebuilt, just as ‘Mancio’ needed to be rebuilt after a bad run on the bench.
Italy needed to change, just as the coach who today has enthusiastically eclipsed Pozzo in the most significant statistical record, that of consistent results, needed to change.
Mancini’s greatest achievement is that he has provided the team with so much knowledge that the players have memorized, allowing them to face any situation.
Mancini on the sidelines with Spain’s Luis Enrique during the tight semi-final game Mancini needs this European title to end his dreadful history with the blue shirt.
Mancini has just a few players with the Italian national team, despite his inexhaustible potential, which established him as one of the best players in Italian football history during the 1990s and 2000s: a No 10 with a tremendous ability to score many spectacular and critical goals.
With Italy, he made 36 appearances and scored four goals, which was insufficient for the ‘Mancio,’ who was born in Jesi, province of Ancona, 56 years ago with the desire of becoming Italy’s best player by winning the World Cup.
Mancini wore the Italian national team’s shirt in one World Championship, in 1990, without ever taking the field, and one European Championship, in 1988, in which he faced dismissal owing to his behavior.
Despite the several controversies, he managed to play only 271 minutes in the 1-1 draw against West Germany, scoring a goal and engaging in an aggressive cheer against the spectators.
This final will be used to break Mancini’s curse, which has kept him from pursuing his blue path as a player.
After their penalty win over Spain, Italy’s players celebrate in front of their fans. FANS WANT TO CELEBRATE DESPITE COVID In Italy, European fever has broken out: football is talked about in every corner here in Naples, and many fans accompany their children to the sea with the Italy shirt in the goal of providing an amazing night, between tea.
Several fans in Italy broke the restrictions in order to prevent gatherings and celebrations in the squares of major cities and small villages around the country.
For the moment, regional governors are continuing to impose restrictions in order to avoid the Wembley final and Italy’s ultimate victory from overshadowing the HIV fight.
The fight against Covid-19 and the Delta variant is still ongoing, and the prospect of an increase in contacts concerns the President of the Draghi Council and the Italian regional political staff.
To avoid throngs of fans, many cities have refused to allow large screens to be installed in Italian squares.
The coronavirus pandemic is still gripping Italy, but that hasn’t prevented fans from rejoicing. A NEUTRAL STADIUM WOULD CALM ITALIAN FANS’ ANXIETY In Italy, there is a lot of dread for the fiery environment of Wembley Stadium.
England will play at home, putting the Azzurri at a distinct disadvantage.
The 1990 World Cup was held in Turin, but the national team did not win; this incident provides an edge to the English team, but it is not regarded crucial by the team.
Due to an spike in Delta variant interactions in London, Mario Draghi wants to bring the European Championship final to Rome at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Italians respect Wembley as a location, but they believe they can beat England there. But, the situation is becoming concerning across Europe, and Draghi’s plea has not been approved.
Draghi also handed Mattarella the position of representative of the Italian state at Sunday’s final to avoid igniting additional problems.
‘Don’t worry, Wembley doesn’t intimidate us,’ Bonucci said in the news conference ahead of the match against England.
A win on Sunday would be significant for Italian football, both for individual players and for the Federation as a whole.
FEDERICO CHIESA IS THE NEW ITALIAN STAR He is the greatest player on the Italian national team in terms of quality and aggression.
Mancini can no longer afford to keep him on the bench, therefore he has dropped Domenico Berardi from his starting lineup to create place for the finest Italian forward at Euro 2020.
Federico Chiesa has been voted the Italian competition’s hero by the fans.
The Juventus winger scored two spectacular goals to break down Austria’s and Spain’s resistance.
If Italy wishes to bring the European Championship back to Rome after 53 years, it will surely be because to Chiesa’s technical and psychological development as the artistic son of his great father Enrico, who has a special link with Wembley Stadium.
Chiesa celebrates his goal against Spain in the semi-final on Tuesday, but will he be in the final?
He scored 25 years and 12 days after his father’s goal against the Czech Republic at Euro 96 at that stadium, proving that he can live another wonderful night pushing Italy to victory.
The pace of Federico Chiesa is outstanding, and he will be Italy’s weapon against England.
The Juventus winger has a top speed of around 35 km/h, which is faster than Alvaro Morata (32.72), Matthijs de Ligt (32) and Juan Cuadrado (31.94), according to Serie A data.
Chiesa has always displayed his full speed and physical strength, which might be crucial in counter-attacks against the English team.
Luke Shaw, a dangerous free-kick taker who might be in trouble if attacked vigorously by the young Italian forward, will be his direct opponent.
PULCINELLA HAS HIS PREDICTION FOR ITALY I asked the man who impersonates Pulcinella – a classical Italian comedy figure – in front of the Naples seashore to entertain visitors for a prediction: he informed me that he couldn’t tell me who will win for good luck, but he did deliver his prophecy with his hands: 2-1 for Italy.