The unbeaten streak suggests that we keep the most fit team in the world, regardless of international or national competition. Italy’s 3-0 win over Switzerland in their second match of the 2020 European Championship was the tenth in a row, a race in which they scored 31 goals without conceding a goal. In fact, Italy have not given up a goal for eight months and are currently in a 29-game unbeaten streak with their last loss coming almost three years ago. The appointment of Roberto Mancini as manager after a 2018 campaign in which Italy missed the World Cup seemed an intriguing decision because the 56-year-old was still young enough to make an impact at world level. club. Mancini, however, saw the opportunity to do so. “something really differentAfter the existential disappointment. Decisive failures gave birth to new beginnings, and Mancini took full advantage of them to create a modern image.
“I imagined it would be like that,” central defender Leonardo Bonucci proclaimed after Italy’s opening victory, a player who had first-hand experience in the 2018 season.
It’s not just on the victory strip or on the clean sheets, but on how. Mancini has Italy playing an attacking, vertical style that makes him definitely the most modern side of the tournament. Just consider the pressure on his third goal against Turkey: Four players press the backline, leading to a rotation in the third opposition by Domenico Berardi. A sequence of two and two touchdown passes takes place from there between Nicolo Barella and Ciro Immobile, ending with a one-touch goal from Lorenzo Insigne. The sequence hit the modernity bingo card with pressure, quick exchanges and a goal from inside the box, all done by a ball recovery in the final third.
This is from a manager seen earlier as willing to sacrifice entertainment for the pragmatism of the results, who once said he was ”I’m fine“With ‘playing’ boring football ‘every time his team has won the league, while it’s dangerous to extract statistics from just two games, it’s worth noting how to lead Italy over their opponents. 18 extra pressures in opposition attack the third of the next nearest side, with the second highest pressure in the middle third. Immobile and Berardi are currently second and fourth in pressure.
The balance of the midfield trio deservedly received applause, even with the missing Marco Verratti. Champions League winner Jorginho provides the tempo, Manuel Locatelli gives the line passes and Scudetto starter Nicolo Barella adds late runs. Rarely do national team players fit in so well that lineups can often turn into a compromise exercise. Adding Insigne and Berardi’s ability to cut through Immobile’s incisive off-ball runs, Italy’s 4-3-3 form is carefully constructed as a domestic part.
The positioning of the sides is now the signal of the modernity of a part. Italy’s second goal against Turkey marked a rebound from Immobile, it was initially taken by left-back Leonardo Spinazzola (which was also called Man of the Match). Against Switzerland, right-hander Giovanni Di Lorenzo is ranked second in the team with 71 touches, while also playing a second-hand role in both goals. with his runs in the box.
Even when incisive passes fail to connect, Italy is structured to press, creating turnovers and winning second balls. This aggressive approach has been refined over the years, with Mancini’s combination of pressure and verticality taking the innovative attacking principles of many Serie A teams. The new style has played into provocative discussions of how “Serie A is back ”, led by progressive leaders who think ahead and run away from defensive stereotypes.
The composition of the starting side is revealing. Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Juventus stalwarts Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, and Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella are the only players representing the European Super League teams. The rest is made up of club players who have missed the Champions League this season but know some form of position play, both in the remnants of Sarri-ball of Naples, Rome by Paulo Fonseca or Sassuolo by Roberto De Zerbi. Even more amazing is the overall impact of Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta relative to its size and budget.
We also wrote about the progressive nature of Sassuolo and De Zerbi with reverence over the years. Positive game theories have focused on fast pace and paid off with Domenico Berardi and Manuel Locatelli playing key roles in the opening goals of both games. With Turkey falling deep in the first half, it was up to them Berardi to create something out of nothing from outside wide to give his side breathing room. Then, it was an all Sassuolo goal against Switzerland, with Locatelli initially playing a ball outside to Berardi, who returned the favor to Locatelli, late.
Of course, Ciro Immobile they add two branded poaching goals. His eye for space in the box has been sharpened by Inter’s current director Simone Inzaghi at Lazio, with the 31-year-old scoring 123 goals in the last five seasons. Having never scored in a major tournament for Italy before the opening match, there were questions as to whether his idiosyncratic style could translate into a larger scale. Whether it’s Inzaghi or now Mancini, attacking with the defenders inside the box inevitably opens up space somewhere for Immobile to tap only on the numbers.
Mancini reaps the benefits of highlighting Serie A versus versatile and direct players adding another twist to what a national team should represent. A national team is aspiring, showing the highest qualities of a country’s football principles. It is also a reflection and a portrait of an era. From this perspective, international leaders are handicapped by the evolution in the domestic game, rarely creating their styles based solely on the lack of training time. With the return of Sarri, Luciano Spalletti and Max Allegri in Serie A, the momentum continues to trend one way.
Although in a blow to the anticipatory nature of Serie A, De Zerbi left the league to join Shakhtar Donetsk after not being considered for the opener at Juventus and Inter. This could be seen as a managerial breath of fresh air for local talents as the biggest clubs were chosen by a global talent group, but neglecting De Zerbi it was only a matter of a quality overload that the old leaders guard it remains relevant in the face of a new era. Language as “innovation” when used to describe 62-year-old Sarri and 63-year-old Gasperini was not placed just to fill the space. Even when Italy comes back to its ideas, there is the feeling that they still have a whole world left unused.
We measure the quality of European national leagues by how far clubs reach the Champions League elimination rounds. No league team has made it to the Champions League semi-finals in 2020 for the first time since the 2006-07 season, a sure sign of a failing national team. On the other hand, this year’s Premier League Champions League Final has created optimism for England’s chances in the Euro.
This narrative may be limited taking into account the dominance of Italy. Juventus and Lazio were eliminated in the round of 16, with Inter finishing last in the group stage. But if the core of this Italian side had been developed outside of the clubs to world resources capable of allowing international players, we would not necessarily see the development in the Champions League. Instead, we have it here, with the quality of Locatelli, Berardi and Spinazzola that will inevitably surprise supporters around the world. We may be looking at the wrong results when it comes to how “Serie A is back” while we wait for Juventus, Inter and Milan to win in Europe. Italy’s current career is a showcase for how the league has grown and expanded over the last three years, depending on where you look at the table.