Euro 2012 Preview Italy
Despite a glorious history in World Cups, Italy have won the premier international football competition four times, the Azzurri have won the Euros only once in their history, in 1968. They are 14/1 with most bookies to win the competition for the second time in Poland and Ukraine.
1968 was a tumultuous year. It saw the Italians win their only European title as well as the assassination of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and riots and demonstrations across Europe and America. While the Italian team of 2012 aren’t surrounded by as much chaos as 1968; they’re not far off.
The Italian national training camp was raided by police searching for defender Domenico Criscito, as part of their investigation into match-fixing. Italian football corruption has once again reared its ugly head. The defender was sought in connection with events at his previous club Genoa; who are in the spotlight after suggestions a match was fixed between Genoa and Lazio during the defender’s tenure with the club.
Players would be forgiven if they were a tad distracted by the latest events. But then again in just such a cloud of controversy - with the famous Calciopoli scandal in 2006 - Italy went into a tournament overshadowed by the activities of a murky football underworld. But it didn't bother them. They won the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The streets of Rome filled with revelers.
Cesare Prandelli and his side will be dreaming of a repeat performance in Poland and Ukraine. Just when Italian football is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons the team could erase all of that with success at Euro 2012.
But just getting out of their group will cause a challenge. Spain, Ireland and Croatia round out Group C. While it is not the group of death, Group B (Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal) holds that honour; it will pose a challenge. And after their disappointing first round exit at South Africa 2010; just escaping the group will be cause for celebration.
But with their glorious history, and the need to erase another embarrassing match-fixing scandal from the minds of the Italian public; the Azzurri may just surprise everyone.
Remember you can watch live coverage of the games via the BBC and ITV, Need a UK IP? Click Here
blog comments powered by