July 28, 2021

Italy-Spain: the latest, Mancini’s choices

Training in London for the Azzurri, preceded by the words of the coach to the team

All around Roberto Mancini: the pack leader settles in the center of the Hive Stadium lawn, players and staff surround him in a long ellipse, for five minutes only the voice of the coach is heard. Which explains, recommends, disposes. It is the eve of the semifinal of the European Championships, Italy arrived in London in the morning and shortly before 19, after the customary press conference has been archived, the training session in preparation for the match against Spain is closed. As long as Mancini speaks there is a magical atmosphere, the small stadium of the Barnet and the inevitable drizzle – which a little further south forces Wimbledon to pull out the tarpaulins – make it irresistibly “British”. Then everyone to work, to warm up their muscles and head for tomorrow’s match.

Italy itself, or almost

Barring twists and turns between tonight and tomorrow morning, the national team that will face Luis Enrique’s Roja will be very similar to the one seen in action against Belgium. Spinazzola will be missing, to whom everyone would like to dedicate the conquest of the pass for the final: Emerson is not afraid of competitors, also because in the squad we do not have an abundance of left-backs. Alongside it will have Chiellini and Bonucci, on the other side it is difficult to think of any solution other than Di Lorenzo (even if Florenzi and Toloi have disposed of injuries and ailments). The three in the middle line do not touch: Barella-Jorginho-Verratti is now a rhyme that everyone repeats, in these days of comparisons with the great “midfields” of the past. In front of Chiesa-Immobile-Insigne is the most probable trident. Ciro, above all, is expected to be redeemed. And Mancini has had words of esteem for him, in recent days a bit like that.