Euro 2020 opened in spectacular as Italy started its campaign in front of its fans with a comfortable victory against Turkey.
There were shadows of Italy 90 before the start when Italian opera tenor Andrea Bocelli. Then, after a thrilling fire show, honoring the opening ceremony with a moving play by Nessun Dorma.
And when the rescheduling tournament finally began. Merih Demiral‘s goal and strikes by Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne resolved a one-sided Group A match. The first of 51 games to be played in 11 European cities next month.
For the first time in a single match in the European Championship, the Azzurri scored three points.
In contrast, Roberto Mancini’s side registered 24 attempts. They unveiled their unbeaten streak in 28 games back in September 2018.
Holding the first half but not finding the net. Giorgio Chiellini came very close with a header from a corner that brought a fine save from Cakir from Uganda.
Italy crossed the line when Demiral turned the ball over his goalkeeper.
And tried to cut out Domenico Berardi‘s ball in the second half before Lazio’s Immobile. Then, playing at home, they struck after Leonardo Spinazzola’s ball was blocked by the goalkeeper.
After being demolished by the attractive Immobile. The Azzurri wrapped up a satisfying win even though Insigne finished.
A sense of celebration in Italy.
On a warm night in the Italian capital, the national stadium was packed for only a quarter.
Still, fans in attendance could come to the celebration of the start of Europe’s biggest football festival. But, unfortunately, it was delayed for 12 months by a coronavirus epidemic.
The 16,000 inland represented the largest crowd in Italy for a year and a half.
And those who could not get a ticket watched the huge screens on the other side of Rome.
With the city hosting three more games during the tournament, authorities have set up an event plan. Including exhibitions following Italy’s history in the Euros.
Italian World Cup winners also featured the opening ceremony. Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta kicking the ball on the pitch.
Furthermore, not to mention that trapeze artists performing high above the pitch. But the pre-match show ended with the ball rolling.
Although before the ball was brought to the stadium by remote control car.
The Azzurri indicate that they mean business.
Italian coach Mancini had spoken of “extra pressure” on his team’s involvement in the opening game.
Portugal in 2004, Switzerland in 2008, and Poland in 2012 are all examples of host countries or co-hosts. Coming suddenly on the first night of the European Championship.
The pressure on the Azzurri did not help them in their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. But this was a good start from one of the popular clubs.
Turkey had beaten world champions France by qualifying. But they lacked a real threat other than Cenk Tosun, their top scorer. Outside the tournament with a knee injury.
Italy ‘sends message’ to rivals.
It started with a spine-tingling rendition of Nessun Dorma, which included an offensive game. And ended with Italy happily celebrating the defense.
The opening night of the European Championship would not have gone better for the Azzurri inside or outside the stadium in Rome. And it was a night that put on a beautiful past and present.
Few people had Roberto Mancini’s team as long-distance favorites in the tournament.
But they were in good form, scoring three goals in Euros for the first time. A staggering number because they were given three finals and won once.
“Furthermore, they’ve sent a little message out there to everyone,” said the former England captain Alan Shearer.
It has changed dramatically from the position they found themselves in three years ago. When they hit the ground running thoughtlessly, failing to win the 2018 World Cup.
They lost their first five games following Mancini’s appointment.
But the former Manchester City manager is looking at a dramatic change. With the side looking unbeaten in 28, winning nine in a row. And also keeping them clean sheets in all those games.
The former Manchester City defender Micah Richards said: “People will move on. But you will surely want the first game to be a success. And we’ve got that.
“Not only the players. But also the team manager deserves great credit for outstanding performance. For installing that confidence in all the team players.”
Shearer said, “Italy was in turmoil. When Mancini had taken over.” Adding: “moreover, he also has changed his style of playing the game. They were great at everything they did. In addition, not only with the ball but also without it too.”
Italy hosted a match in the 1990 World Cup.
Italy last hosted a match in a major tournament at the 1990 World Cup. It was dropped before the start of the game. When world-renowned employer Andrea Bocelli fired Nessun Dorma in a bid. To impress 16,000 fans at the Stadio Olimpico.
“It was important to start well in Rome. And I think it is to satisfy the Italian community and people,” said Mancini.
“It’s been a good evening. I hope there’s a lot more. But there’s still six more Wembley.”
Despite being impressive at the end of the pitch, Italians have long been known for their defensive skills.
And veteran midfielder Giorgio Chiellini has shown what it still means at 36. Blowing the whistle in celebration following past Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz’s keep of a clean sheet.
“It will make people stand up and pay attention,” said former England defender Rio Ferdinand.
“And if you play against Italy. You have to play the game with your full effort. They have seen it clearly with the system that works for them.
“It will be a tough test ahead. But they have used Turkey with emphasis. But, of course, this will raise a few people if they have any questions about Italy.”
With lynchpin midfielder Marco Verratti set to return, the Italians in top form will dry up.
The former Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas added: “You can also see it at the end of the game. They are all together, and you hear.
“They’re friends. And they want to play games with each other.”