August 6, 2021

Jewel “Gigi”, unicorn and faith of Anelka

  • On the bill: Italy-Spain

Lorenzo Insigne, Squadra Azzurra player, and Mikel Oyarzabal, No. 21 of the Spain team.

It is one of the oldest footballing rivalries in Europe: at 9 p.m., in Wembley stadium, Italians and Spaniards will write a new chapter in their shared history for a place in the Euro final. In 2012, Spain won the competition in Kiev, crushing Squadra Azzurra in the final (4-0). Four years later, Italy ended La Roja’s adventure in the round of 16.

This year, the Italians flew over their group stage before scrapping against Austria in eighth (victory after extra time, 2-1) then controlling the Belgian selection (1-2). Only downside on the Nazionale side, the absence of Leonardo Spinazzola, one of the best players in the tournament, victim of a ruptured Achilles tendon against the Red Devils.

On the Spanish side, the doubts about La Roja’s play in the group stage were dispelled after a crazy match against Croatia (5-3 a. P.) Then a more complicated qualification for the semi-finals, acquired on penalties against Switzerland. The winner of the Italy-Spain match will face either England or Denmark in the final, also at Wembley, on July 11.

Italy-Spain, Tuesday July 6 at 9 p.m., on TF1 and BeIN Sports and live on Lemonde.fr.

Read also Euro 2021 football: schedule of matches, results and standings
  • Euro star: Gianluigi Donnarumma

Gianluigi Donnarumma in the quarter-finals of the Euro won by Italy against Belgium (2-1) on July 2 at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.

He shares the same first name as Gianluigi Buffon and seems destined, like his glorious elder, for a long reign as goalkeeper for the selection of Italy. Against Belgium, in the quarter-finals of the Euro, Gianluigi Donnarumma (again) proved imperial in his aerial outings, and we saw him slam a decisive parade to release a strike from Kevin De Bruyne.

It is no coincidence that the Nazionale have conceded only two goals in their last ten games. Better, the last time Italy lost with Donnarumma in the cages, it was in September 2018, against Portugal. In the meantime, the 22-year-old goalkeeper has accumulated experience with more than 200 league games under the colors of AC Milan.

“For us Italians, this is the greatest talent of the last fifty years with Gigi Buffon”, assures Gaetano Petrelli, trainer of goalkeepers in Coverciano, the Italian federal center, in the columns of The team. A gem that should sign free of any contract at PSG after the Euro. With, perhaps, a first major title in its suitcases.

  • Meanwhile … the English ride unicorns

Two days away from facing Denmark in the semi-finals, Gareth Southgate’s men offered themselves a moment of relaxation on Sunday, July 4. Similar to the 2018 World Cup, the Three Lions rode plastic unicorns in their hotel pool.

In Russia, they had taken to the water at the same stage of the competition against Croatia (2-1 a. P.). This year, the English boat seems better equipped to capsize the Danish longship.

  • In the skylight: the list of German players selected for the Olympic Games

To announce the list of the nineteen players summoned to the Olympic football tournament in Tokyo (July 23 to August 8), the German federation has done something original with a manga-style video which is reminiscent of the legendary series Captain Tsubasa (Olive and Tom, in France). It remains to be seen who from Max Kruse (Union Berlin) or Marco Richter (Augsburg) will reproduce the “eagle shot” by hitting midfield.

  • Corner of blue sky: the Olympic Games of the Blues (almost) launched

Sylvain Ripoll had all the trouble in the world to bring together twenty-one players for the Tokyo Olympics. Many clubs had refused to release the selected players, as they are entitled to because the tournament is not on the official FIFA calendar. The French federation even had to obtain a waiver from FIFA allowing the coach to draw outside the prelist of 50 names filed in mid-May. Yesterday, the French team was finally able to begin its preparation at Clairefontaine with the presence of Montpellier Téji Savanier in training.

André-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin arrive from Mexico today and will join the group. At a press conference, Sylvain Ripoll made a point of forgetting the difficulty in establishing the list: « It was complicated, annoying, frustrating. You have to switch to another mode. Taking part in the Olympics is something magical and exceptional. We’re going to go in that state of mind. “ The coach will finally be able to work calmly.

“If you want the highest honors, you will have to leave PSG sooner or later”

“Dear Kylian, I would like to tell you that it will be easy, that you will get over it quickly, but football is not like that. “ It is with these words, a bit paternalistic, that the former PSG player Nicolas Anelka tried to comfort Kylian Mbappé after his penalty missed against Switzerland in the round of 16 at Euro 2021, in an open letter published Monday, July 5 on the English-speaking site The Athletic.

The former striker of the Blues continues his story by advising the young Bondynois to join a higher championship, in England, Spain or even in Italy to win the Golden Ball. Because, according to him, if the PSG has become “One of the biggest European clubs”, he does not allow Mbappé to “Compete with the best players”. In contract with the Parisian club until June 2022, the 22-year-old striker has taken the decision not to extend the adventure with PSG, according to comments from club members reported by The team.

In his time, Nicolas Anelka had prematurely left the capital club to join Arsenal, then Real Madrid and Chelsea, with whom he won two Champions League.

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