In the Euro 2012, Italy played some of the most aesthetically pleasing football and captured the hearts of the neutral fans World wide. Despite not being given any chance of winning the tournament, they reached the finals and if not for a formidable Spanish side, Italy had every chances of winning the Euro’s.
Last night’s 2-2 draw against World cup hosts Brazil which saw the Italians turn over a 2-0 first half deficit was another proof of their credibility. In a match were Neymar was always the talking point, Milan ace Balotelli overshadowed his Brazilian counter part as he thumped in an unstoppable curler past Julio Cesar to equalise. Though Brazil managed to score two goals, the match was completely dominated by Balotelli and Co. Midfielders Pirlo and De Rossi dictated the game in either half and ff they continue to play like last night, the Italians could be well in with a chance of lifting the trophy next year.
Here are the 3 Reasons to believe why they have a chance to lift the World cup:
The man who has brought a swift change in the way the Azzurri play. He was appointed after their disastrous World cup campaign in South Africa and since then Prandelli has not set a foot wrong. If we have learned anything under the Prandelli era it’s that you can’t ever discount his Azzurri in any competition.He has to be credited for taking them to the finals of the Euro with a side that was still in a major transition phase. But come 2014, the Italians will have a stronger side, a side which is perfectly balanced.
Prandelli has never been afraid to try out new formations and tactics as he always wants the best out of the team. His deployment of 4-4-2 from a classic 3-5-2 when Chiellini was injured is just an example of his tactical brilliance. He has a command over the team both on and off the pitch and even the senior most player can find himself in the bench if he finds anything is out of sort, clearly letting the team know who the boss is. The result, a structured team that knows how to behave and give their 100% every-time.
Veterans + Youth:
If 2012 Euros were a glimpse of what they are capable off, come 2014 Italy will have a much more formidable side. A perfect blend of veterans and youth combined with a master mind tactician. Hardy experienced players like Buffon, Pirlo, Barzagli, Chiellini, and De Rossi will be the ultimate sidekicks in tutoring the younger generation of Italian superstars. It will be interesting to see how Prandelli uses players like De Sciglio, El-Shaarawy, Lorenzo Insigne and Mattia Destro and how the youngster perform when called-up on to the biggest stage of their life.
It’s rather a selection headache for the manager than the freedom of having such a lengthy list of talents and if the youngsters perform to the level they have been doing in the domestic league, Prandelli will be having a night mare as to who he can afford to bench.
The Spanish influence:
Just like Spain who are built around Barcelona, the core of the Italian national side belongs to Juventus, who have been dominating Serie A for the past two seasons. Players who are used to winning regularly will only add a fighting spirit to the team and having known each other very well there is no need for an extra session to get acquainted.
Another factor to consider is their ability to perform when no one expects them, though the bookies are considering Italians ahead of several other teams, they are clearly not amongst the favourites for the 2014 competition, which is best suited for them as they tend to perform when they are not on the lime light (2006 World cup the best example).
The unsurprising favourites are Brazil and Spain and teams who avoid them or manage to get a result out of these two teams have every chance of going to the finals, but one team that can beat or will not fear to face them will be Italy. Having already proved a point against Brazil last night, Spain are the only team that Prandelli’s men are yet to taste success. But having already lost out to them 4-0 in the Euro finals, it’s unlikely that Prandelli will allow his team to go down in such a way. The former midfielder should have learned his mistakes.
All in all there’s every reason to believe that Italy can compete with the very best come World Cup 2014.