For a team that hadn’t lost in 23 straight games, it’s pretty wild that Italy had just the 5th-best odds to win the Euros at the start of the tournament. Having scored 15 and conceded 2 in 6 matches, they now find themselves in the semifinals, where they’ll meet a somewhat unconvincing Spain side. Should they dispatch the Spaniards, one of Sweden, England, Czechia, and Denmark await.
It’s a superb run for a national team that’s been in shambles since Cesare Prandelli led them to the finals of Euro 2012. Roberto Mancini seems to be getting the most from a talented team and doing it by prioritizing a positive, attacking style that’s seen the Azzurri become everyone’s favorite team to watch over the past few weeks. There’s a real sense that they, along with England, are the favorites out of the remaining teams.
Of course, losing Leonardo Spinazzola, who’s probably been the team’s most important player so far, could prove crucial; with respect, nobody wants to rely on Emerson (although it worked for Henry David Thoreau, amirite). Going through Spain and then one fo the remaining 4 teams on the other side of the bracket, though, would be difficult even with a full squad. It’s about as tight as it could be right now.
Tight ain’t nothing, though. Are Italy going to do the thing and win the Euros their second Euros 53 years after their only success?
This poll is closed
Here’s your weekend thread. Stay loose.