I.Italy is floating. And above the clouds even the only sad Azzurro found his smile again. When his team-mates, who were overjoyed at the sky, kept shouting “Olé, Spina!” On the flight home, Leonardo Spinazzola’s bitter tears were finally dry. Lorenzo Insigne, one of the heroes of the “magical night” of Munich, swore: “We are now trying to get very far – for him.”
Left-back Spinazzola is one of the discoveries of the European Championship, he also played well in this memorable 2-1 (2-1) in the quarter-finals against fellow favorites Belgium. But in the final phase, the 28-year-old was seriously injured without any outside influence. In the unrestrained jubilation over the entry into the semi-finals against Spain mixed with the Azzurri the “Spina shock”.
Spinazzola had to be brought in tears on a stretcher in the 79th minute. According to an initial diagnosis, he tore his left Achilles tendon and should continue to receive treatment at his club AS Roma. “It looks pretty serious,” said coach Roberto Mancini, “he didn’t deserve it. He played super and brilliantly, he is one of the best players in the European Championship. It’s such a shame, we wish him all the best. “
Spinazzola spoke up on Twitter on Saturday. “Unfortunately we all know how it went for me, but the Azzurri dream continues – and nothing is impossible with this great group,” he wrote: “I’ll be back soon, I’m sure of that.” On the way to only the second European title after 1968, Italy now meets Spain. The semi-final duel with the three-time European champions will take place on Tuesday in London’s Wembley Stadium.
In 1990 the home World Cup ended in the semi-finals. The current team, however, wrote the Gazzetta dello Sport, “deserves this European Championship title” – and they have what it takes. In terms of football, coach Mancini sees his boys on a par with the “best Italian teams”. With the World Cup heroes of 2006 and 1982, or with the Squadra Azzurra that won the European Cup in 1968 for the only time so far.