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Italy triumph

We were not that optimistic going into the Euros. We lacked our best midfielder Claudio Marchisio, aside from our Fiorentina’s youthful talent Bernardeschi the azzurri had no creativity in the midfield. We call such players registas the same word for a film producer. They usually wear the number 10 shirt and over the years Sandro Mazzola, Gianni Rivera and Giancarlo Antognoni have worn this jersey with distinction. However we did have the best defence in the tournament with the back three and keeper all playing as a unit for Juventus who were coached by the now international manager Antonio Conte.

Many teams start a competition well and then flounder. When we won the World Cup in 1982 we drew our first 3 games and only just qualified. After beating Brazil 3-2 we felt we had a real chance and did in fact become World Cup winners. We are still only in the quarter finals against an opponent Germany we normally beat but then again Spain normally beat us. The tactics were superb. The back three shut up shop whilst the two wing backs Di Sciglio and Florenza marauded forward. But for the keeping of De Gea the score could have been much more but it took a great late save from Gigi Buffon to stop an equaliser

rooneyAnd what do we make of England, their second departure form Europe in 4 days?

I am actually sad as the quarter line up of Italy v Germany, England v France would have been so exciting. In the upper half of the draw no one has the quality of Belgium. Roy Hodgson coached Inter and Udinese and I really expected this England team to be better organised. They did not seem to have a plan A let alone B. Harry Kane could not find his Premiership form and Rooney once again failed to impose himself on a tournament.

From Joe Hart’s fumbling to the sterile forwards up front this end this was an an ineffective non-performing unit.

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About Stefano Ursolini

The son of a leading Florentine art dealer, Stefano initially worked in the Uffizi Gallery. He went into journalism and soon became a popular stringer writing on Tuscan wines, art and football. Stefano lives with his partner Umberto in the Santa Croce quarter of Florence. A dedicated supporter of AC Fiorentina his elegant articles on the Viola as well as the Serie A have earned him an appreciative global audience. More Posts