Who gets off to a good start is half the battle, the saying goes and Italy confirms. The Azzurri won the opening match of the European football championships against Turkey. For Italy everything was easier after the Turkish own goal that unlocked the result of the first match of group A of the first traveling European championship in history which ended 3 to 0.
«We played a good match, even in the first half without being able to score. It wasn’t easy, we were making our debut, they are a great team. There was a lot of help from the public, the team played really well ». This is the synthesis of coach Roberto Mancini on Rai’s microphones at the final whistle.
And it’s true: Italy plays well even if they don’t score in the first half. The public there after months and you can hear it. The desire to have fun is common and goes hand in hand with the desire to win a real game after years, after a missed World Cup. The atmosphere is a bit like that of the magical nights of Italia Novanta.
It is a national team that cannot be said to be perfect, even if this is the word chosen by many to talk about the evening. It is though a tenacious national team that deserves to win and that scores with practically all the forwards on the pitch. The Turkish own goal came from a shot by Berardi in the eighth of the second half and then they scored Immobile in the 66th and Insigne in the 79th.
«Message to the favorites?», Mancini said, «We had a good match, it was important to start well, here in Rome, and I think it is a satisfaction for all of us, for the public and for all the Italians. It was a beautiful evening, I hope there are many others like that. First step towards Wembley? It is still long, there are still six more … ».
The first, however, went very well after one shortened opening ceremony, but full of fireworks and music: from Guglielmo Tell by Rossi to the hymn of Bono’s championships passing through the voice of Andrea Bocelli. Never in the previous 38 games at the European Championship had we managed to score more than two goals. It is a positive sign that accompanies the consecutive useful result number 28, the victory number 9 in a row without conceding goals.
Really hard to do better. Now you have to keep your feet on the ground. Italy will return to the field on Wednesday 16 June against Switzerland, again at the Olimpico at 21.