As Italy’s record-breaking long-lasting unbeaten streak came to an end in the Nations League semi-finals against Spain, they will now face the hungry Belgium squad in the fight for third place!
The biggest talking point of Italy’s last match was not the above-mentioned loss, first one after astonishing 37 matches, but rather the behaviour of Italy’s fans! The semi-final match took place in San Siro, home ground of AC Milan, and the fans were not happy to see ex-AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnaruma back after he left last summer for PSG. They kept booing him throughout the whole match which in the end even led him to tears!
As the match for third place will be taking place in Torino, specifically at Allianz Stadium, home of Juventus, we are expecting a better reception of the star of the last European championship, but one never knows what to expect from the fans!
Belgium were one foot in the finals on Thursday, but they somehow managed to lose the 2-0 lead they had at half-time and they lost the semi-final match against France 2-3. They will now try to earn back their reputation of being the best football nation in the world (according to FIFA rankings) and at least take home the third place, as they are still waiting and hoping to win a big trophy in the future.
“It is going to be very difficult to get back up and focus on Italy. I think Thursday’s defeat has made our players hit a mental wall.” Belgium coach Roberto Martínez said after the last game.
To get some perspective as to how the match might go we better look back at the last time these two teams met. It was in July during the Euro 2020 quarter-finals. Italy won the very much exciting match 2-1. The biggest standouts of the game were certainly Lorenzo Insigne and Nicolo Barella with their gorgeous individual goals. Lukaku also showed a noteworthy performance, but his only goal, a penalty, was not enough to win the game.
We expect a hard-fought and close battle which will end with Italy winning yet again. Romelu Lukaku won’t be able to save his team by himself.