Convidado deste blogue, Davide Caffagi volta a emprestar o seu contributo. Desta feita, a sua análise incide sobre o jogo de sábado entre Inglaterra e a Itália. Convido-vos a ler.
As you probably know, every football game makes supporters both anxious and eager to see what will happen.
This is even more true for national teams: they don't play as often as clubs do, players are required to rapidly adapt to new tactics, and to learn how to play with each other.
To add up to all this, we are talking about a World Cup debut against England, in Manaus.
An expert opponent with a lightning-fast forward department to be faced at the heart of Amazônia, where high temperatures and humidity above 50% can easily defeat anyone not used to them.
Furthermore, Italy had to leave at home some valuable players, like forward Giuseppe Rossi, who had not recovered completely from a previous injury, and playmaker Riccardo Montolivo, who broke his leg against Ireland, in our national's last test two weeks ago.
Gianluigi Buffon, our veteran goalkeeper and captain, who wore the azure shirt a staggering 140 times, suffered an akle injury in training (he will probably recover in time for this Friday's match with Costa Rica or next week's against Uruguay).
Mr. Prandelli had to reinvent his team with new players and different positions, and, after a widespread initial skepticism, we can now say he did a hell of a job. He chose to play with a double playmaker (Pirlo and Verratti, the first completed a record 108 passes), using Balotelli as single forward. Italy's first goal comes on a corner, straight from the training field: Pirlo faked a shoot, giving time and space to Marchisio, who magnificently shot through four defenders to the far corner of the goal, and scored from 25 metres. Just three minutes after, an amazing assist by Rooney was beautifully transformed by Daniel Sturridge, and the game was open again. Italy had more chances before the end of the first half, but we had to wait for Balotelli to score at the beginning of the second half. His header, on an assist by Candreva, closed the game: the remaining minutes were passion and suffering, but England was mostly shooting from outside the box, without the needed precision. During the injury time, Andrea Pirlo hit a bar with what could have become a goal to remember.
When it was over, Italy's supporters were happy: a beautiful victory, where many players at their debut proved their worth. Sirigu and Darmian especially, the first saving our goal several times and the second causing problems on the right side to the english defence.
Serenity, at last.... Until the next game!