The UEFA Euro 201 is over and Spain has confirmed his reign on European soccer (not a big surprise there) with a ”routine” victory against a pale, exhausted Squadra Azzurra. Surprisingly dominated on the Tactic side by Xavi and his companion, the team set up by Prandelli lacked energy, creativity and precision.
While the quality of the game proposed by the Spanish is indisputable (who said boring?), it’s not their win that I will remember, nor one of their players. It’s the Architect of the incredible Italian road to the Final, Andrea Pirlo.
In a world where young yet talented players are the new stars, earning tons of money but severely lacking charisma, it is so refreshing to see a guardian of the old times, a player with class and elegance. Italy reached the final thanks to his activity and intelligence. Always available to receive the ball, Pirlo was also the one that launched the attacks by putting his teammates in ideal positions to move forward. When he couldn’t, like in the Final, Italy was unable to come higher up the field. The central defenders failed so many times to find a partner in the middle.
In all the other games, Pirlo not only accelerated the game but distributed it rationally on the field, giving to Italy both possession and confidence. I was also impressed by his ability to keep the ball in his feet, even under great pressure. He could be juggling during the Fukushima earthquake and still keep the ball under control….
Once again, I got the confirmation that leadership does not depend on how much you talk and scream on and off the field. It’s always about charisma and performance, the combination of both leading to respect.
I know that everybody saw the great overall performance of the long-haired Italian ice-man, but just to make it sure, UEFA officials selected him in the All-star Squad of the tournament…Thanks Padre Pirlo, for teaching us a few lessons !