Switzerland Overcame Italy and Got the Current Champion Out of the Way at Euro 2024

Switzerland vs Italy, Euro Cup 2024
Switzerland vs Italy, Euro Cup 2024 (Credit: Getty Images)

The round of 16 of the Euro Cup Germany 2024 opened the curtain this Saturday with the surprising but equally overwhelming victory achieved by Switzerland (2-0) against the current champion of the competition, the Italian National Team, which says goodbye leaving a poor image.

After securing their qualification to this stage after a valuable draw against powerful Germany (1-1) at the close of the group stage, the Swiss team finished proving that they are up to great things with a resounding victory at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

Also Read: Panama Shakes Up the Copa America with Its Victory Against the United States

“We have to give young people a chance!” said Luciano Spalletti on Friday, in an important speech that seemed inspired by a prophetic vision. The Italy coach expressed this in a capital decision when he left Jorginho on the bench and put Nicolo Fagioli in midfield, a 23-year-old boy who spent practically the entire season blank, suspended for participating in illegal bets. A large part of the press supported a measure that removed the nationalized player without considering that he was the most expert man on the squad and the most lucid with the ball at his feet. Spalletti thought he had found his successor. He bet that the regeneration that the people expected would occur in Berlin. Suddenly. Without realizing it, this true football savant made the mistake that produced the most havoc: he confused desires with realities.

With this victory, the Swiss national team broke a long streak against the Italians, whom they had not beaten since the European qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup. According to data from Mister Chip, there have been five draws in their last six matches, and now they finally got their victory.

By playing together for years, the Swiss have achieved the kind of empathy and synchronicity that gives them a huge advantage over teams like Italy, who field different lines in every line-up. Spalletti is tormented by his own ideas. “I take the poison alone,” he confessed in Leipzig. The Swiss, so calm in the tunnel and so determined on the pitch, were not worried by anything. They gathered together, pressed, stole incessantly, broke away, and linked up with ease against a Fagioli who looked as alone as Jorginho did against Spain. More of the same. Italy’s problem was never its midfield: it was everything it had in front of it and behind it. Defensive players without aggression, more concerned with getting out than marking, and attackers without imagination, progressively intimidated until they reached the apotheosis of the inferiority complex. After half an hour, after a one-on-one with Embolo that was saved by Donnarumma, the Swiss struck the first blow. Akanji breaks the lines with a pass to Embolo, Ndoye took the ball against the resistance of the opposition midfield and Vargas joined the gang to set up Freuler with a pass into the heart of the area. The midfielder entered free and caught Fagioli out in his position as a guard in the center lane. Donnarumma did not prevent the 1-0.

The passage of time accelerated the spiral of blue deterioration. On the first ball played in the first half, Fagioli enabled Xhaka, the Swiss captain, with a long pass. The game caught the Italians on the wrong foot. Vargas took advantage of his opponents’ passivity in the retreat to score the shot at the far post. The second goal on the scoreboard plunged Spalletti into despair and his players into discouragement. The entrances of the heroic Zaccagni, the industrious Retegui, the melancholic Pellegrini, and the fervent Frattesi did not dispel the general feeling that all efforts would be useless. Until the 72nd minute, Italy did not shoot between the three sticks: a predictable shot from Retegui into the hands of Sommer.

Switzerland ended the afternoon patiently managing their lead. They could have extended it against a team traumatized by the clash with Spain. The Italians completed the rest of the match like someone filling out a form. The great Jorginho watched from the bench, perhaps with relief. Now no one can blame him for the trouble that surrounds him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *