Going out on penalties. Your nation, your journalists, your fans, they can’t really have a go at you, especially if you’ve defeated the reigning champions along the way, and given the World’s Number Two team a lesson in tactics and teamwork.
No one fancied Italy to do much in France. When your goalkeeper is your most famous player, you know you’re team isn’t going to rock the footballing world.
And yet, here was a team managed by someone who knows what they’re about, who’s passionate on the sidelines, who players want to play for. They looked organised, aware of each of their roles, knowing they had to play well or pay for it!
They could have toppled the World Champions but for their shakiness from 18 yards. And for the first time they have lost to the Germans in a major championship. But only just…