Grabbing six points in the two initial games of their Euro 2020 Qualifiers should be put in the right perspective: Group J is far from being a difficult one. Still, Italy’s 6-0 win over Liechtenstein last night, embellished by a double by Fabio Quagliarella and a new goal by young talent Moise Kean, was enough to warm the hearts of Italian supporters.
Roberto Mancini’s young Azzurri are off to a good start on their way to Euro 2020. Italy beat Finland 2-0 in Udine last night to pass their first test to win back access to the football aristocracy. Goals by Niccolo’ Barella and Moise Kean, whose combined age is 38, showed that the Italian coach’s work to rejuvenate the Belpaese football movement is starting to bear fruit.
A controversial penalty converted by Jorginho allowed Italy to snatch one point out of their Nations League home debut with Poland. Coach Roberto Mancini’s trust in Mario Balotelli was not repaid last night in Bologna, and it took the entrance of Federico Chiesa to shake up an Azzurri side hit in the first half by Neapolitan midfielder Piotr Zielinksi.
Come on, Italy, there is hope for the future. Coach Paolo Nicolato’s Azzurrini lost an incredibly entertaining Under 19 Championship Final in Seinajoki, Finland, succumbing 3-4 to Portugal after extra time. A double by Moise Kean and a header by Gianluca Scamacca were not enough for Italy to conquer the European throne again, 15 years after their last Under 19 win.
November 13, 2017. One of the worst days in the recent Italian history: The day the Azzurri failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time in 60 years. As the competition in Russia started today, The Cult of Calcio asked some disappointed Italian fans how will they cope with the absence of their beloved from the competition. Here is what their responses were.
Click here to read the English version of this article In Italia, una “meteora” è quel giocatore che vive un breve periodo di gloria, prima
As World Cup 1990 approached, Italy’s coach Azeglio Vicini could lineup strikers such as Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Baggio. Still, he decided to add to his squad a little known Sicilian forward from Juventus. His name was Salvatore Schillaci, and he became the underdog King of the Notti Magiche (“Magic Nights”) of Italia ’90, scoring 6 goals and leading the Azzurri to the 3rd place.
“You will take the last penalty, because you have always been decisive so far.” This is what coach Marcello Lippi told Fabio Grosso before the penalty shootouts that determined the outcome of World Cup 2006 Final between Italy and France. Lippi’s choice to bet on a player who was not even part of his original starting lineup proved to be a winning one.
Sergio Goycoechea was not even supposed to play in World Cup 1990, as the starting goalkeeper of Argentina was undoubtedly Nery Pumpido. But when Pumpido suffered an injury, the first choice became this unknown goalie with a cowboy face, who ended up leading the Albiceleste up to the Final match, shattering Italy’s Notti Magiche dreams along the way.
In Italy, we call “meteora” (meteor) a player who lives a short period of glory before fading away. The World Cup is full of such stories and, as we get closer to Russia 2018, Antonio Guarini takes us on a journey through the Top 10 “one-hit-wonders” in the recent history of the top football competition, starting with the Korean striker who made the whole of Italy cry in 2002.
The revolution can wait. For his first convocations as interim head coach of the Italian Nazionale, Luigi Di Biagio chose to walk a conservative path. Those who were hoping for a complete cleanup among the Azzurri ranks after their shameful failure to qualify for the upcoming World Cup might be disappointed – and yet, the pool of human resources available to Di Biagio didn’t leave much room for different choices.
The world of football was shocked today at the tragic news that Fiorentina captain Davide Astori suddenly passed away at 31 in Udine. Astori, who was capped 14 times by the Italian Nazionale, was found dead in his hotel room, apparently on natural causes. Lega Serie A emergency leader Giovanni Malago’ ordered the immediate cancellation of all Serie A and Serie B matches in program today.