Is Italy Ready to Defend Their Euros Title?

Italy will arrive in Germany acutely aware that, despite being the reigning champions, they are not the favorites to win the competition again. The image of Roberto Mancini and Gianluca Vialli embracing as Italy celebrated their triumph at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021, remains a cherished memory for the nation.

That victory was the peak of a remarkable project aimed at rejuvenating the national team.

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Three years later, Italy has faced numerous challenges. The nation mourned the loss of Vialli to pancreatic cancer, missed out on World Cup qualification again, and saw Mancini depart after a five-year tenure.

With Euro 2024 qualification at stake, Italy turned to Luciano Spalletti, the man who led Napoli to a Serie A title after a 33-year drought.

At 65, Spalletti had intended to enjoy a restful period on his Tuscan farm but could not resist the call to coach the Azzurri.

Leading the national team was a dream come true, and Spalletti was enthusiastic about steering his country forward.

Securing qualification wasn’t straightforward. Italy finished second in Group C, behind England, clinching their spot with a goalless draw against Ukraine in the final game.

Now, they face the daunting “group of death” at Euro 2024, alongside formidable opponents like Spain, experienced Croatia, and the underdog Albania.

Despite being reigning champions, Italy enters Germany aware that they are not favorites to reclaim the title.

Lacking world-class players and a distinct identity, Spalletti is banking on the strength of the collective and Italy’s storied history in international tournaments to advance. “I don’t see top-class players except [Gianluigi] Donnarumma in goal,” remarked Carlo Ancelotti regarding Italy’s chances at Euro 2024.

In Euro 2020, Italy relied on the legendary defensive duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, the creativity of Marco Verratti in midfield, and the skillful forwards Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Berardi.

None of these players will be in Germany, nor will their experienced defender, Inter’s Francesco Acerbi, who withdrew due to injury.

Instead, Italy will depend on new faces to prove their mettle, guided by the expertise of their star coach, Spalletti.

Renowned as one of Italy’s finest tacticians, Spalletti’s teams have always been lauded for their style of play, though he had been criticized for not winning trophies.

Securing the Scudetto with Napoli while playing captivating football earned him long-deserved respect.

Under his leadership, players often excel, and the team’s play patterns are enticing. However, he has had limited time to craft the ideal setup for this Azzurri squad to showcase the talents of its younger players.

Spalletti envisions a team adaptable to opponents, capable of playing with either three or four defenders.

During the qualifiers, Italy consistently started in a 4-3-3 formation, but in recent friendlies, Spalletti experimented with a three-man backline, which has sometimes left the team vulnerable to counter-attacks.

Written by Influencer Editorial Team

Managed By Influencer Team - United Kingdom

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