Italy is a shining example of the German national team
With Italy, the EM has a deserved title holder. The incredible story of the new, courageous Squadra Azzurri should also be exemplary for the rebuilding of the German national team. And it is the most beautiful story that football has written in a long time.
Dhis is a homage to the new European champion. And it would have been written in exactly the same way if Italy had lost in this lottery called the penalty shootout. Because despite everything, it’s not always about victory or defeat. It’s about football, about passion and about courage.
Roberto Mancini’s team showed all of this at this European Championship. She believed that she could make a dream come true, even if it initially seemed so utopian. It is as the 1982 Italian world champions put it in an open letter to the players before the final against England. “You made us feel young again and without fear. Dare to dream of the future that you can shape ”, wrote the old grandees around Dino Zoff.
It’s true: This new Squadra Azzurri has done well, especially in these strange times. When some are frightened by the corona pandemic and others are afraid of losing their jobs. The way in which the Italians, of all people, known for years for their calculating, hypothermic football, have reinvented themselves over the past three years is impressive. You play forward, are not satisfied even after a guided tour and just keep going. They enjoyed their aggressive, inspiring style, which Mancini had convinced them of over the past few years.
Italy was on the ground after missing the 2018 World Cup
They set an example – especially for the German national team, which now has to invent itself. It is also a quintessence from this Italian fairy tale that it is not absolutely necessary to have world-class players in every position. A spirit can also be created that inspires a team, that inspires it in such a way that it can surpass itself.
Should Hansi Flick manage to arouse just a little bit of the passion of the new European champion in the coming months – the future would look much, much better than many in Germany currently fear. After the missed World Cup in 2018, Italy was also completely on the ground.
Ironically, the Italians, the eternal minimalists from earlier years, who often enough destroyed the beautiful game of other teams with their tactics, were the best thing at this European Championship.
There was a lot that bothered and disturbed us about this tournament: Uefa’s double standards in relation to the planned rainbow protest in Munich. The disproportionately full stadiums in Budapest and London despite Corona. The meaningless traveling back and forth across Europe. And of course the kowtowing of football from commerce.
But there were also the passionately fighting Danes, the intrepid Swiss and the cheeky Austrians. And there was, thank God, Italy. Grace.