Losing the final match of the European Cup isn’t a good business at all. Losing it with the score of 0-4, after a disastrous match and with no alibi, is more than a simple defeat: it’s a real Waterloo. Sunday evening, the Italian team – leaded by Mr Cesare Prandelli – ended in the worst possible way its experience in the European Football Championship.
Prandelli‘s boys – that’s true – were exhausted: beating the Englishmen and the Germans was a hard mission. They managed it – then they fell down.
The Spanish players, on the contrary, were impeccable: it took them just 40 minutes to score twice, dashing “Azzurri”’s hopes.
Then, in the restart, they scored twice again – completing the humiliation of Mario Balotelli and his team-mates. That’s life, that’s football.
“We’re not disappointed in you”, Giorgio Napolitano said. The president of the Italian republic, speaking to the “Azzurri”, tried comforting them. Sure, it wasn’t easy. “You’re like Italy – Napolitano said -. There’s still a long way to go…”. Politics like sport: the comparison is quite easy – but it works. “We’re a old country, with old ideas – Mr Prandelli said -. We were brave enough to change, building a modern time, with a modern mentality”. Well done Mr Prandelli – but building a modern team, if you don’t win the Cup, is certainly useless. “Spain was invulnerable – was the immediate reaction of Gianluigi Buffon, the Italian goalkeeper -. Beating them was quite impossible”.
The Italian newspapers seem to be in accord with him: so, the “Azzurri” were pardoned. For a whole month, they were able to let the Italians dream, forgetting the crisis and running after the revenge. What remains? Balotelli’s super-goals, the incredible wins against Germany and England, Andrea Pirlo’s penalty kick at the end of Italy-England (“il cucchiaio”, they said – “the spoon”). It was a little epic tale – but the happy ending was missing.