Monday, July 03, 2006

We're in business

Come what may, the Azzurri have brought back a bit of respect to Italian football over the past few weeks. If they pull off a win against Germany, the job would be even better. Still, to get to the World Cup semi-final is back to the business end of football's biggest competition which is somewhere we have not been for 12 years.

The win over Ukraine was impressive with Toni among the goals, Totti pulling the strings and that defence truly breathtaking (especially the Juve connection Cannavaro, Buffon and Zambrotta). What you've got to like about this team is its spirit - typified by Gattuso but carried on by everyone in the side. All the old debates like Baggio/Zola, Totti/Del Piero and, for those with longer memories Rivera/Mazzola have been put to one side. There is no outstanding superstar which has made everyone seem happy to work for each other.

There are any number of omens you can take into account. We've not, so far, ever lost a major tie to Germany. The last time four European teams were in the semi-finals was 1982. Paolo Rossi went four games without a goal (like Toni) before ending up top scorer. And so on, and so on.

The biggest factor is that the boys are playing well, improving every game and look desperate to do well. They have earned the right to think they can go all the way and win it. Now wouldn't that be sweet?

6 comments:

martinobhoy said...

There's also the fact that in 1982 it had been 12 years since we had lost to Brazil in the final and also in 1982 the experts in Britain said Argentina or Brazil would win it.

But ignoring all that it might just be the fact that Italy are the best team of the last 4 that proves decisive.

I'll settle for a win over France as revenge for Euro 2000.

Spangly Princess said...

christ am getting nervous now...

* (asterisk) said...

You gotta love the way they played last night (4 July), huh? Fantastic goal by Grosso. Even Del Piero delivered, with a cracking little goal, just to put the icing on the cake!

And Gattuso is just so great. Me and the missus have been big fans of his for a few years now.

I like what you've got going on here.

Comment 13 of 20

Red said...

The Azzurri were magnificent last night, and the Trapattoni years seem like forever away...


10/20

a.c.t said...

The second best thing about last night (apart from the obvious) were the magnificant words that came out of the commentators' mouths about our boys. And it is a first. I still have nightmares about Euro 2000 -luckily you were in Scotland, Ginkers and didn't have to put up with the insulting, ridiculous put-downs. I really hope this is a turnng point and I never want to hear the words 'defensive' and 'italy' ever again in the same sentence.

Spangly Princess said...

what did they say about us? am revelling/astonished by the general reaction from foreign press today.