FootballMania Hall Of Fame: Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini is a one club player who appeared 902 times for AC Milan between 1984 and 2009. The all around defender but often left back is widely recognized as one of the best players ever and holds numerous accolades that include seven Serie A titles, five European Cup/Champions League titles, two third place finishes for the Ballon d’Or (1994 and 2003) and was included in teams of the tournament at three European Championships (1988, 1996, 2000) and two World Cups (1990 and 1994).

Player Summary
Name:
Paolo Maldini
Date of Birth:
Jun 26, 1968
Age:
53
Height:
1.86 m
Citizenship:
Italy
Position:
Fullback
Foot:
Both
Agency:
None
Ownership:
None
Contract Expires:
N/A
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Jul 1, 1985

FootballMania Hall Of Fame: Franco Baresi

A one man club Franco Baresi joined Milan in 1977 and played a total of 719 games before retiring in 1997. The Six time Serie A winner is also a three time Champions Cup/League winner during his 20 year career.
Individually, he is 19th on World Soccer’s Greatest Players of the 20th century, FIFA’s top 100 players ever and of course an AC Milan’s Hall Of Fame inductee.
He represented Italy at three World Cups, finishing first (1982), Second (1994) and third (1990).

Player Summary
Name:
Franco Baresi
Date of Birth:
May 8, 1960
Age:
61
Height:
1.76 m
Citizenship:
Italy
Position:
Central Defender
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
None
Contract Expires:
N/A
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Jul 1, 1977

Italy vs England Euro 2020 Final

Match Commentary
120′
Italy win Euro 2020 winning 3-2 in the shootout after 120 minutes of 1-1 tie
120′
Saka can extend the shootout but Donnarumma saves it
120′
Jorginho has the chance to win for it Italy but his penalty is saved
120′
Sancho, another late sub, sees his penalty saved
120′
Bernardeschi gives Italy a 3-2 lead
120′
Rashford, a very late sub, hits the post
120′
Bonucci doesn't miss
120′
Maguire scores and gives England the lead
120′
Belotti's penalty is saved
120′
Kane scores England's first
120′
Berardi scores the first penalty
120′
Three minutes of added time solves nothing and we are headed to the dreaded shootout
120′
Substitution
Jadon Sancho
For Kyle Walker
A sub for England
120′
Substitution
Marcus Rashford
For Jordan Henderson
A sub for England
118′
Florenzi comes on for Emerson
113′
Yellow Card
Yellow Card for Italy Euro 2020
Jorginho .
Jorginho gets a yellow that could have been a red, he fouled a falling Grealish with studs on the English player's leg
108′
Donnarumma punches out a cross, for a moment Italy were in trouble
107′
England threaten more, Sterling almost beating Chiellini deep inside Italy's box
106′
Yellow Card
Yellow Card for England Euro 2020
Harry Maguire
A yellow for England, the free kick is fumbled by Pickford but he recovers quickly
103′
Emerson breaks through and beats Walker, his cross is not dealt with well
100′
Substitution
Jack Grealish
For Mason Mount
A sub for England
96′
England attack but Sterling's cross is shot into corner by Chiellini, a subsequent Phillips shot is just wide
95′
Substitution
Manuel Locatelli
For Marco Verratti
Another sub for Italy
91′
Substitution
Andrea Belotti
For Lorenzo Insigne
A sub for Italy to start extra time
90′
With six minutes of added time the game is still tied 1-1 and extra time is coming up. Italy dominated possession for good periods of second
90′
Yellow Card
Yellow Card for Italy Euro 2020
Giorgio Chiellini
Deep in second half added time Saka almost beat Chiellini on England's right, the Italian got a yellow that could have been worse
86′
Substitution
Federico Bernardeschi
For Federico Chiesa
Chiesa can not continue and subbed off
84′
Yellow Card
Yellow Card for Italy Euro 2020
Lorenzo Insigne
Insigne gets a yellow
80′
Chiesa falls but it is not a foul according to the ref, but he is hobbling
75′
The stats show Italy with a great advantage in possession, more needs to be done with it
73′
Substitution
Jordan Henderson
For Declan Rice
A sub for England
73′
Berardi manages to run free at Pickford but shoots high with no room left
71′
Substitution
Bukayo Saka
For Kieran Trippier
Saka comes on for Trippier
68′
1:1
Goal for Italy Euro 2020
Leonardo Bonucci
An Italy corner is missed, mishandled and Bonucci ties it for Italy from close range
63′
Stones heads well from a corner, forces another corner
62′
Chiesa tests Pickford, the English goalkeeper not happy with his defenders
55′
Yellow Card
Yellow Card for Italy Euro 2020
Leonardo Bonucci
Bonucci with the yellow
55′
Insigne with a chance from a tight angle, stopped by Pickford
54′
Substitution
Domenico Berardi
For Ciro Immobile
Second sub for Italy
54′
Substitution
Bryan Cristante
For Nicolò Barella
A first sub for Italy
50′
Italy get a free kick few yards outside of the box, which Insigne curls slightly wide
48′
Sterling breaks through on goal claiming a penalty but nothing is given
47′
Yellow Card
Yellow Card for Italy Euro 2020
Nicolò Barella
Yellow to Barella for a foul on Kane
46′
No changes at half time by either coach
45′
A very disappointing first half for Italy, the forwards frozen and static, the full backs and others refusing to cross or show urgency
45′
Four minutes of added time seems excessive
42′
Italy have been getting some more of the ball but seem trapped and frozen when with the ball
37′
Italy's full backs, Di Lorenzo and Emerson, are struggling at both ends
35′
Chiesa has Italy's best chance, he shrugs off Rice and shoots towards goal
30′
Neither team is able to create much but Italy's players are out muscled and poor in possession
22′
Jorginho on the ground injured, a player Italy can not afford to lose of course
10′
Italy have yet to settle, the game features fouls and many throw ins
2′
0:1
Goal for England Euro 2020
Luke Shaw
Italy with the disastrous start, Luke Shaw finds room from a cross and beats Donnarumma on the near side, Italy full backs drifting to center giving Shaw the room
1′
England's bench: Ramsdale, Johnstone, Grealish, Henderson, Rashford, Mings, Coady, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin, James, Saka, Bellingham
1′
Italy's bench: Sirigu, Meret, Locatelli, Belotti, Berardi, Pessina, Acerbi, Cristante, Bernardeschi, Bastoni, Florenzi, Toloi
1′
England start with Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones; Trippier, Rice, Phillips, Shaw; Mount, Kane, Sterling
1′
Italy start with Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne

Euro 2020 Final Preview

Euro 2020 Final

It is England vs Italy. One team playing at home and another doing well to reach the final while keeping a long undefeated record intact. England for all intents and purposes have had a home advantage throughout although the Michel Platini inspired European wide Euros have been spread around the European continent.

The hype around the England team is at an all time high. The “It’s coming home” motto has been flung wide open for a team that has never won this championship. A rejuvenated and more attacking Italy came in with an undefeated record. A record that has allowed the team to forget the disaster that was the 2018 World Cup non-qualification.

The group stages of this one year delayed Euro 2020 were often mediocre and tired looking. A good number of teams seemed powerless for long periods and the only reason many did better than expected or were seen to on paper was because of the format that allows 16 of 24 team to qualify for the knockout stages. The knockout stages themselves brought more excitement, come backs and intrigue without being innovative or groundbreaking in other, for example tactical, terms.

VAR and refereeing continued to be abysmal at times and while some still insist that video assisted refereeing is improving the game missed fouls, wrong penalties and wasted time VAR checks for non clear and obvious ref errors say otherwise. One such error was not overturning a dive that has played a big part in England getting to this final itself.

Italy lost one of their best players in Leonardo Spinazzola with an achilles tear but overcame Spain in the semis. England overcame Denmark, who wrote their own story written long before reaching the semis, to get here.

England’s wide play has given opponents trouble. Raheem Sterling’s pace can do the same to Italy. Spinazzola would have offered similar pace down the left for Italy but his replacement, likely to be Emerson, won’t be as quick. Down the middle England’s double pivots, often Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, have done well in recovering and providing forward movement. Jorginho has done even better for Italy, playing a key interceptor and play starter in the middle of the pitch. He and whoever surrounds him – two of Manuel Locatelli, Marco Verratti or Nicolo Barella – will have their hands as full in dealing with speed and skills of Sterling, Mason Mount and likely Bukayo Saka. England can throw in Phil Foden and/or Jack Grealish to trouble Italy even more. All the while Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham stand ready giving England much greater depth than the Azzurri.

Italy feature Ciro Immobile upfront. The Lazio man has been misfiring and may even be dropped in favour of a so called false 9. This would mean Italy would play without a recognized center forward and feature Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Chiesa and Domenico Berardi up front. Andrea Belotti is the only other center forward option and hasn’t fared much better than Immobile. Italy have excelled at the back however. The Juventus duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci combine for 219 caps and 70 years and have been leaders on the pitch. Chiellini in particular has been near his best while wearing the captain’s armband.

The dreaded shootout remains a possibility. Let’s hope the game is decided in 90 (or 120) minutes to spare us from the irrelevancy of a penalty kick contest.