Sports

Italy, European champion: what will remain after the “blue night”?



The tifosi cared a bit: it didn’t matter that the Wembley victory was laborious, in the snatch, on Sunday night. In a delirium of green-white-red flags, vigorous “Italia-Italia!” », Carousels, howls, rattles, fireworks, drums, firecrackers, dances, hundreds of thousands of teenagers, often soaked in beer, have occupied the squares and streets of the Peninsula as well as the terraces and balconies for the long night of revenge: the first European title snatched since 1968 – which also comes three years after the trauma of not participating in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“The Italian political crisis in the midst of Covid-19 is unreal”

“L’Italia s’è desta” (“Italy woke up”), as the “Hymn of Mameli” says, the “Italian Marseillaise”. And televisions have gladly accompanied their comments with the famous song by Adriano Celentano: “Azzurro”. We will not have until later an assessment of the material damage of this frenzied celebration.

Then at dawn, this Monday, July 12, the newspapers took over. Recurring theme: “Grazie Azzurri” (“Thank you, the Blues”), like the front page of “Libero”, and “L’Europa siamo noi” (“Europe is us”), like one of “Il Messaggero”. While on social networks the anti-British jokes were unleashed: “Elizabeth, we, we do not bow” or “The Brexit finally achieved”, with a Boris Johnson who shows off his messy hair but colored green-white-red .

Behind the victory, the Covid still present

But what will remain of this adventure? What does she say about the future Italy? Beyond the sporting victory, it illustrates a spirit of revenge on the bitter fate of the Peninsula with its 128,000 deaths from Covid-19 in eighteen months. And the galloping spread of the Delta variant which now represents 30% of new contaminations in the country. Mario Draghi, the head of government, was not mistaken, he who is a tifoso licensed, a convinced supporter, when he celebrated in the middle of the night “Italy in the center of Europe”, “after a particularly difficult season”. Italy winning in stadiums can help Italy win in the markets, he believes. With the implication: all this joy can be translated into creativity when the country receives funds from the European recovery plan (more than 200 billion euros).

Italy: the party before the fourth wave?

The unifying role of calcio is nothing new in Italy. This country with recent unity, very divided into bell towers, clans and chapels, has always found in football a collective rite and a raison d’être. Not a town that does not celebrate a local team. Not a political leader who does not have his squadra favorite. The choice of a team can be decisive for the election of a mayor or a municipal councilor. Candidate for Naples, Gaetano Manfredi (center left) knows something about it: the discovery that he was a supporter of the Turin club of Juventus and not of the local Napoli could cost him the town hall in September.



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