Italy Happy to Go Under the Euro Radar Once Again

Date: 11th June 2024 at 2:20pm
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Having stunned England at Wembley to win the last European Championship title in 2020, once again Italy are happily going into Euro 2024 as dark horses.

While the spotlight is firmly on the likes of England, France, and Germany heading into the major tournament, Italy will look to go about their business and try to cause another stir this summer.

Azzurri Out to Replicate 2022 Success

Missing out on qualifying for the last two World Cups in 2018 and 2022, it has been a tough time for the Italian national side. Considering their disappointment in missing those two major tournaments, it’s even more impressive that Italy managed to win Euro 2020. The Azzurri, who are 18/1 in the Euros winner odds to lift the trophy this summer, caused a huge upset by beating England in the final four years ago. On home soil, the Three Lions, who are 3/1 in the England Euros betting markets to win this year’s tournament in Germany, were expected to overcome the Azzurri in London. With Luke Shaw’s early goal getting England off to the perfect start, there were even fewer who believed Italy could leave Wembley with the trophy.

Italy fought back and handled pressure from England to equalise thanks to a goal from defender Leonardo Bonucci. The game of course went to extra-time and penalties, with the Azzurri holding their nerve in the shootout to break English hearts. It was the perfect end for an Italian side that won all of their Group A games against Turkey, Switzerland and Wales, before beating Austria, Belgium, and Spain on their way to the final. The celebrations across Italy will live long in the memory and now manager Luciano Spalletti and his side are looking to bring the celebrations back to the streets from Abano Terme to Zungri.

Azzurri Handed Early Tests

While Italy were handed a favourable draw for Euro 2020, the Azzurri face a much tougher group at this summer’s European Championship in Germany. Italy begin the competition with a clash against Albania in Dortmund, before taking on Spain in Gelsenkirchen. To finish the group schedule, Spalletti’s side then face Croatia in Leipzig. It’s certainly a formidable group. But should Italy progress to the round of 16, they will be perhaps more battled-hardened than some of their rivals for the title.

More experienced Italian sides in the past have featured at European Championships and it will be interesting to see how this latest crop of players get on at the major tournament. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is the most senior player when it comes to caps, having made 62 appearances for his country. With Donnarumma being 25 years old, it shows perhaps the lack of experience in this squad, which only has three players who have over 50 caps for their country.

That lack of senior players might be one of the reasons Italy are considered outsiders for the title this year. That won’t concern Spalletti and his players, who will be happy to stay under the radar in Germany for as long as possible.

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