The European football championships and Berrettini at Wimbledon: a year ago the glory day of Italy

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A year ago, a lifetime ago. Brothers of Italy, everyone and regardless: glory-day. Let’s rewind the film: on July 11, 2021 Italy of sport experienced one of its most incredible days, it seemed like a new beginning, after the lockdown and after the pandemic had changed the world. The summer of our hopes. Nevertheless. Everything seems so far away, wrapped in a time that – since then – seems to have gotten out of hand. Do you remember? Italy champion of Europe, Matteo Berrettini in the final at Wimbledon, defeated but winning, happy to have arrived there, on the summit where no other Italian had ever climbed. One step away from the dream, because there are defeats that count as a victory.

It happened in London. All within a few hours, as if a particularly mocking calendar had decided to keep us there all day, glued to the dream. Our opponents were called Nole Djokovic and England. The Wimbledon draw – in the warm English afternoon – was a sentence: 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. A year later: Berrettini has retired from the tournament, Nole is still there, scratching the history of tennis. After that defeat, welcomed in Italy as a success – as well Mario Draghi complimented him: “A game that excited us”, said the premier, inviting Berrettini to Palazzo Chigi – everyone seemed that the final was the beginning of another future. Times were changing, weren’t they?

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The afternoon ended discolored, then we all got ready for the big night of Wembley, with the final of the European Championship between Italy and England. Blue triumph, on penalties. Fortune? Also. But when fate is a friend, we accept it as compensation for the failures we have experienced. Then came the hour of national jubilation. Hate Mancini, who had changed the mentality of the national team and brought us there, on the top of Europe, for the second time in our history after the 1968 victory. We celebrated the class of Insigne and Bernardeschi, we were moved by the fraternal embrace of Mancini and Vialli, we laughed with the memes of Chiellini’s withholding on the English Saka. The atmosphere was magical, victory was the daughter of happiness.

Then the memes became us. One year and on, everything changed. Italy has succeeded in the sensational feat of not qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar, Insigne, Bernardeschi and Chiellini went to raise money and gain life experiences in a minor league, in soccer with stars and stripes. Mancini is still in his place, but the tuft has turned gray. The lightness has been lost, the bad mood has remained, the son of the failure and the disappointment that followed. We were united and compact, we disbanded. It’s the sport, beauty. From glory to dust. And viceversa. Wimbledon and Wembley, the W2 that made us dream is a crooked billboard, which no longer flashes. Other times will come, other joys, other champions. It was July 11, 2021, it isn’t anymore.

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Source: Vanity Fair

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