It’s the same summer, it’s the same teams, but it’s a completely different game. In Belgrade, in front of over 20,000 spectators, Italy beats Serbia. Davide Mazzanti’s national team became European champion by beating 3-1 the servant team that had defeated the blue just a month ago in the quarterfinals at the Olympics. It was over in tears in Tokyo for the girls who are now celebrating the title.
Italy gives up only the first set, ends 3 to 1 with the third continental title for the blue after the successes of 2007 and 2009.
A match growing, as it had failed in the last games of the games, in particular the one against Serbia, reigning world champion and Olympic bronze.
This victory, daughter of the group, cannot be a compensation for the Olympic disappointment. It is certainly the first brick of a reconstruction, a restart for a team that has the determination of its best-known players, but also a hunger and a clarity that seem lost in Tokyo.
All summed up in the words of the captain Miriam Sylla: «We were looking forward to playing against Serbia. We remembered the Olympics game well, we felt a little ashamed because we knew we hadn’t played as well as we could. We wanted to prove something, we did it and I’m really happy. This medal cancels the failure of the Olympics: we didn’t give up, we came back and we won ».
Reacting was the really hard thing to do. “It was a tremendous effort to go out on the pitch after that disappointment and get back to having fun,” said coach Davide Mazzanti. “We have done something extraordinary”. They did it on the same day that three Italians took the podium together at the Paralympics, a great day of blue girls.