‘TIKITALIA’ was the headline in the Corriere Dello Sport as it claimed that Italy had crushed Spain, the masters of possession. They were right, the feeling of intense gratification that engulfed the Peninsula, when Graziano Pelle scored the Azzurri’s second goal, was as combustible as Antonio Conte on the side-lines. They had done it, they had lifted the curse of Spain, they had got their revenge. This was a team performance from a squad, not of spectacular stars but of a collective that had now allowed a nation to dream.
The Germans are next but it simply doesn’t matter. It could for the Italians be anybody because the togetherness of the squad and the tactical discipline that was also mixed with some direct and high tempo attacking arguably makes them more German than the Teutonic quarterfinalists themselves. Now Conte will take his team to another final on Saturday as this squad look to push even deeper into the competition. They have given the nation so much already but one has to think they still have so much more to give.