Italy and Macedonia, it will be Church Night: From World Cup regrets to Euro 2024 mission | first page

Italy and Macedonia, it will be Church Night: From World Cup regrets to Euro 2024 mission |  first page

There is no calculations to do, and there are few strategies to adopt. The match that will be held at the Olimpico Stadium, against North Macedonia, is of fundamental importance. Not being in Germany, after two successive qualifying exits on the way to the World Cup, to defend the continental title is a scenario that Italy cannot, and should not even, consider. Only one mission to achieve: winTo gain that physical and moral advantage to exploit against Ukraine. Luciano Spalletti evaluates all possible options before Friday evening, with one certainty: finally being able to count on a unique and indispensable player due to his characteristics. Federico Chiesa.

A step back – but let’s go back to a little over two months ago. Luciano Spalletti was newly appointed coach of the Italian national team, and the Juventus winger had just clinched the match against Empoli. Everything seemed to fit together: Chiesa was ready to shine and the former Napoli coach was preparing for his debut. It didn’t exactly happen that way. The match ends with a score of 1-1, Italy is unconvincing and Chiesa… Yes, and Chiesa? The blue attacking winger did not even participate in that match. The fault of this failure was a problem with the adductor muscle during the last training session in Coverciano. The exit of Chiesa and Spalletti, who did not score the goal. No matter, the new opportunity for the former Fiorentina player will come on Friday evening: Macedonia seems to be in his destiny.

Regret – Another flashback (I warn you, this one is more painful): March 24, 2022, at the Stadio Renzo Barbera in Palermo. The European champions host Macedonia, in the semi-finals of the Qatar 2022 qualifiers. Let’s not prolong the suffering for too long, we all know the result. The guests win, and for the second edition in a row, we skip the World Cup. And guess who wasn’t present for this challenge? Exactly, Federico Chiesa himselfThis is thanks to the serious injury he suffered last January, which was a torn cruciate ligament. The regret that remained imprinted in his thoughts In his memory, as stated in a documentary announcement Amazon Prime: “The match I regret? The match against Macedonia, because I would have liked to help my teammates, but unfortunately that was not possible. Now we have to aim for the 2024 European Championship.” A few words that sum up the bitterness of this absence and the desire to make an impact and guide the national team towards the continental event. The desire is also evident in the energy with which the Juventus player trains: in today’s session he made a fake shot through the ball to Scamacca and an applause from the coach. Chiesa is warming up his engine and Spalletti is considering entrusting him with the keys of creativity and imagination in our attacking solutions. Life always gives a second chance, and this with Macedonia will be the third for the Church. The hope is to break the Macedonian curse, also thanks to the plays of Federico Chiesa.

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