July 24, 2021

Spain Challenges An ‘invincible’ Italy That Adds 32 Undefeated Games

BARCELONA – Italy and Spain meet this Tuesday at Wembley for a place in the final of a European Championship to which, from the outset, neither were invited when the competition began. The Spanish environment was upset by the call that Luis Enrique decided in May and the Italian distrusted after the absence of Azzurri in the World Cup in Russia, the path of both has been demonstrating the success of two clear coaches in their bet and who have led the growth of two teams that today is no longer banned from dreaming.

It will be the first semifinal in which two teams meet whose history of confrontations is full of legendary chapters and that invariably go to the stage when they meet again on the grass and it will be a test of enormous demand both for the patience of the Hispanic game and for the vertigo that Roberto Mancini has imposed on a revolutionized and little recognized Italy from the past.

Italy appears at Wembley with a streak of 32 games without defeat (since losing 1-0 to Portugal on September 10, 2018) and 13 consecutive victories, having conceded just five goals in their last 20 games and that are two in this European Championship in which the first three of the group stage were accompanied by victories, as worked and suffered as they were celebrated against Austria and Belgium.

Mancini has not escaped, however, the curse suffered by Spain’s rivals. If in the round of 16 Croatia could not count on Perisic (positive for Covid) and Switzerland had to face the quarters with the absence of the sanctioned Xhaka, Italy will face the Red this Tuesday without the contest of Leonardo Spinazzola, whose performance has been of the highest highlight of his selection in the tournament.

If the full-back will be low in Italy, Spain will most likely go to the crash without the assistance of Sarabia, who, injured muscularly this Monday, returned to train on the sidelines of the team and would leave his place in the eleven to Gerard Moreno or Dani Olmo to accompany in the attack to Ferran Torres and Álvaro Morata.

Between the gluttony shown against Slovakia, the reaction capacity seen against Croatia and the patience and resistance contemplated against Switzerland, guessing the image of the Red is a mystery, although facing the most powerful rival that has had in the tournament will give the right measure of what was established by a Luis Enrique on the back of which all the Hispanic spirit has grown.