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EURO 2024 Prediction Challenge – EN
Gareth Bale
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Euro 2024: Can Azzurri Claim Back-to-Back European Glory?

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The defending champions have had a rollercoaster ride in the last few years, and some football fans may even overlook Italy as one of the outfits with convincing title aspirations in Euro 2024.

Now, with the highest level of European football right around the corner, the question remains. Can Italy do it again?

The way Azzurri won the Euro 2020 proved that their championship run was no fluke whatsoever. Italy were undefeated all throughout the 2020 iteration of the tournament. They won all 10 of their qualifying matches in Group J, then proceeded to win all three of their matches in Group A during the tournament phase.

In the knockout rounds, Azzurri picked up where they left off as they beat the likes of Austria, Belgium, and Spain and ultimately stunned England at Wembley to clinch their second Euro title in tournament history.

Despite not having a polarising figure in their roster like Ronaldo with Portugal, Patrick Schick with Czechia, and even Karim Benzema with France, Roberto Mancini managed Azzurri to a tee and played a holistic style of football that proved unmatched in the continent.

However, things look a little different for Italy in the upcoming Euro 2024, so together with SBOTOP, let’s delve into the factors that Italy possesses in their back-to-back European Championship claim.

Luciano Spalletti’s impact on the club

2023 marked the end of Roberto Mancini’s five-year spell as Italy’s national team manager. Mancini’s tenure as the man at the helm for Azzurri peaked with their Euro 2020 title as well as a record-breaking 37-match unbeaten run. Conversely, Mancini’s failure to lead Italy to qualify for the last two World Cups has sparked controversy among fans and pundits alike.

“Thus concludes a significant page in the history of the Azzurri, which began in May 2018 and concluded with the 2023 Nations League Finals; in between, the victory at Euro 2020, a triumph conquered by a group in which all the individuals have known how to become a team,” the Italian Football Federation announced.

In August 2023, Italy’s football federation announced that Luciano Spalletti would replace Mancini as the head coach of the nation’s national team.

“The national team needed a great coach, and I’m very happy that he accepted,” federation president Gabriele Gravina stated. “His enthusiasm and his expertise will be fundamental for the challenges that await Italy in the coming months.”

This decision garnered respectable hype, as under Spalletti, Napoli clinched their first Serie A title in 33 years, but despite his success with the Blues, the 65-year-old has yet to gain notable accomplishments as Azzurri’s head coach.

Despite the slow start, Italy have managed to finish as runners-up in Group C of the Euro 2024 qualifiers, boasting a 4W-2D-2L record to place themselves ahead of Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta. It may not be the perfect start Italy fans were hoping for when Spalletti took over the head coaching job, but their qualification for Euro 2024 under the 65-year-old acts as a glimmer of hope for the defending champions.

Emphasis on youth movement

Gianluigi Donnarumma will be Italy's captain in the Euro 2024 tournament this June
Italy’s goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, celebrates during a match against Austria in Euro 2020

Luciano Spalletti is in charge of a different-looking Italy squad from the Euro 2020 version of Azzurri under Roberto Mancini. While the 2020 championship team had proven veterans like Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Ciro Immobile, and Marco Verratti, to name a few, Spalletti’s squad will highlight the nation’s budding young bloods with a sprinkle of veteran expertise here and there.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, despite his young age of 25, will serve as the captain of Italy at Euro 2024, further cementing the young movement that Spalletti is embracing. The man between the sticks for PSG has proven that he’s one of the world’s best in his position, and with more than 61 caps under his belt, Donnarumma looks to lead the defending champions to back-to-back European glory.

Accompanying Donnarumma at the defensive end of the pitch is Destiny Udogie, the 21-year-old left-back who is making noise with Tottenham in the Premier League. Meanwhile, veterans Giacomo Bonaventura, Nicolò Barella, and Jorginho will orchestrate the midfield in hopes that their proven capabilities will set up Azzurri’s young guns to thrive. 

Lastly, even in the absence of Ciro Immobile, Italy can still produce Euro 2024 highlights as they lean on the likes of Federico Chiesa, Lorenzo Lucca, and Riccardo Orsolini to get things done in the final third.

While the Euro 2024 betting odds aren’t that promising for Italy, mainly because they’re clustered up in the Group of Death along with Spain, Croatia, and Albania, it will be quite foolish to prematurely count the defending champions out. After all, it is their title to lose.




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