‘We’re back among the football greats’: Italian papers lavish praise on Roberto Mancini’s ‘beautiful’ side after knocking out Belgium to set up Euro 2020 semi-final clash with Spain
The Italian press have heaped praise on Roberto Mancini’s side after they dumped perennial favourites Belgium out of Euro 2020, claiming their ‘beautiful’ national side are ‘back among the football greats’.
Lorenzo Insigne fired Italy into the tournament’s semi-finals on Friday evening as Roberto Martinez’s men were once again cast in the role of bridesmaid.
The Napoli frontman’s sumptuous 44th-minute strike ultimately settled a thrilling heavyweight battle in Munich and booked the Italians a last-four showdown with Spain at Wembley.
Italian papers heap praise on Roberto Mancini’s side after their win over Belgium
Italy players celebrate at full-time after sealing a 2-1 victory over Belgium at Euro 2020
Nicolo Barella had fired Roberto Mancini’s side into a 31st-minute lead which Insigne doubled and, although Romelu Lukaku’s penalty in first-half stoppage time had given the Belgians hope, they could not get themselves back on level terms.
Italy extended their unbeaten run to 32 games and became the first team to win 15 consecutive European Championship matches, with the result leaving the Italian papers to laud their performance.
La Gazzetta dello Sport’s front page displayed a picture of the team celebrating their first goal along with the headline, ‘Ole Italia – Belgium beaten, we’re back among the football greats’.
Corriere dello Sport couldn’t believe the result, as the headline read, ‘Tell me it’s true!’
Meanwhile, Tuttosport couldn’t help but gush over the Italy team, running with the headline, ‘You are so beautiful!’ while the picture to accompany it was of Mancini’s side celebrating the victory at full-time.
Corriere dello Sport couldn’t believe the result, as the headline on their Saturday edition read, ‘Tell me it’s true!’ while Insigne celebrated his strike.
The result is a significant one for the Italians, who will now face Luis Enrique’s Spain side at Wembley for a spot in the final.
Italy’s winner came in the 44th minute through an excellent long-range curler from the impressive Lorenzo Insigne
However, it wasn’t all good news on Friday.
Italy star Leonardo Spinazzola reportedly ruptured his achilles tendon in the win and is set for months on the sidelines.
The Roma wing-back has been one of the stars of the Euros so far for Mancini but it looks as though his tournament has come to an early end after he was taken off on a stretcher during the victory.
Sky Sports Italia, as per Football Italia, have reported that the 28-year-old ruptured his Achilles tendon and faces ‘months’ on the sidelines in a blow for his country as well as potentially his club.
Leonardo Spinazzola could face ‘months’ on the sidelines after his injury against Belgium
It has been reported that the 28-year-old has ruptured his Achilles tendon in the game
Spinazzola had not long before his injury helped keep Italy ahead, when he stopped Romelu Lukaku from making it 2-2.
However, he pulled up while running minutes later, immediately signalling to the bench that he needed to be substituted.
He collapsed to the ground and covered his face in tears, before he was taken off the field.
‘He didn’t deserve that, he has been one of the best players of this tournament and he will still be even if he can’t play in the next games,’ Italy manager Roberto Mancini told a news conference.
‘We are very, very sad with what has happened it seems quite a serious one.’