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Euro 2012, imagining Italy vs Netherlands

Euro 2012 is about to begin and Italian football is in the worst situation since 2006. Scommessopoli tore the Italian football credibility to pieces, and the success chances of Azzurri’s after latest friendly match against Russia (lost 3-0) are dropping. If I think that maybe we lost our best defender and that our jersey sucks, I can state that we are in the same situation we were before 2006’s World Cup. And everyone knows how it ended.

By the way, I’m not here to make predictions. Superstition is in my blood – and in my ID card. I’m living in a foreign country for the first time in my lifetime and, for the first time, I’m going to watch an international football competition abroad – and, thank God, without Italian national television commentators.

Here in the Netherlands, the Euro 2012 hype is distinguishable and increasing day bay day (I’ll write about that). So I asked myself: “What about Italy vs Netherlands?”. First of all, where I take refuge if we lose? Second, where I can party safely if we win? Third, is it possible? While I’m trying to find an answer to the first two questions, I found an answer to the third one. Obviously yes, it’s possible.

Assuming that both teams qualify after groups round and win matches before they play against each other, the possible scenarios are the following:

  1. Both Italy and Netherlands qualify as 1st in respective groups. Italy should win the quarter final on June 23rd and Netherlands should win the quarter final on June 22nd. Then, they should play against each other in the semifinal match on June 28th.
  2. Italy qualifies as 1st, Netherlands qualifies as 2nd. In this case, Italy and Netherlands could play against each other only if both of them reach the final match, scheduled for July 1st.
  3. Italy qualifies as 2nd, Netherlands qualifies as 1st. Also in this case, Italy and Netherlands could play against each other in the final match.
  4. Both Italy and Netherlands qualify as 2nd in respective groups. Italy should win the quarter final on June 24th and Netherlands should win the quarter final on June 21st. Then, they could play against each other in the semifinal match on June 27th.

In my honest opinion, the fourth option is the most likely one. Netherlands is a good condition, but they have to deal with the most difficult group in the competition, playing against Portugal and Germany. Theorically, Italy has a good chance to win the group, but recent events dropped Azzurri’s chances. Furthermore, Italy should be aware of two opposings like Spain and Ireland.

Whatever the verdict will be, one thing is for sure: rivers of beer will run in the streets of Amsterdam. And, sincerely, I’m really looking forward to see Italy playing against Netherlands. We still have something to fix.

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