National Team in Turmoil: Italy Players at Risk

National Team in Turmoil: Italy Players at Risk

The Italian press have wasted no time delivering their post-mortems in the aftermath of the national team’s Euro 2024 exit at the hands of Switzerland on Saturday afternoon. 

Luciano Spalletti’s side looked cowed and toothless at the Olympiastadion in Berlin in the face of a well-oiled Swiss machine, conceding twice without reply to snuff out their hope of a title defence. 

Badly missing suspended defender Riccardo Calafiori, Italy were easily pregnable at the back and goalscorers Remo Freuler and Ruben Vargas were able to wreak havoc to put Switzerland out of sight. 

Those at the front of Italy’s line-up fared no better, with Gianluca Scamacca failing to score for the 19th of his 20 international appearances. 

As per Gazetta dello Sport, there is only one player who has earned the right to keep his place in the national team as the side gears up to make wholesale changes in the wake of the early exit. 

Italy were dumped out of the European Championship on Saturday afternoon by Switzerland

The Azzurri had struggled to get out of the group but failed to show their quality in last-16

The Azzurri had struggled to get out of the group but failed to show their quality in last-16

The outlet heaped praise on Gianluigi Donnarumma, who sported the captain’s armband against Switzerland, but named Scamacca and Federico Chiesa as just two of Italy’s numerous ‘disappointments’. 

The newspaper also mulled the possibility that Spalletti could be heading for the exit in the wake of the defeat. 

The former Napoli head coach took up the role just last year after leaving the Scudetto-winning side, and is contracted until 2026 – after that year’s World Cup. 

However, Spalletti could yet see his position under siege, not least because one of his strongest champions – Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina – is up for re-election some time over the next nine months. 

Gazetta dello Sport offered a damning verdict of Spalletti’s tenure in charge of the side, stating that the manager had ‘completely failed’, but the outlet were far from the only ones to offer a brutally honest assessment on the team’s performance. 

The Italian press were quick to dissect the various disappointments in Italy’s Euros campaign

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La Repubblica dubbed the side ‘one of the ugliest national teams of recent times’ and called them the ‘unwatchable Azzurri’, while Corriere della Serra stated that they had been ‘terrible’. 

In that paper’s ratings, the head coach was handed a lacklustre 3/10, with Niccolo Barella – frequently the team’s standout – rated just 4/10. 

La Stampa claimed that Italy had been ‘humiliated’ – and that as a result, they were ‘on the periphery of European football’. 

Speaking after the final whistle, Donnarumma offered his apologies to the nation for the team’s performance in Germany, insisting that the team had ‘deserved’ their lowly finish. 

Gianluigi Donnarumma acquitted himself well on the pitch but apologised to fans at full-time

Gianluigi Donnarumma acquitted himself well on the pitch but apologised to fans at full-time

‘Going out like this hurts, we apologise to everyone,’ the Paris Saint-Germain ‘keeper said at full-time. ‘The elimination is deserved. 

‘And the way it happened is very hard to digest. The first half went badly, then we had to react in the second and instead we immediately conceded the second goal

‘Was there a lack of courage?’ He wondered. ‘Everything was missing, the quality, the courage…’

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