As most Italians were, I was hoping for a win today against Paraguay but I do have to say that I was very impressed by Paraguay's organization. They didn't make it easy for Italy to win this game, they certainly are very passionate about the game of soccer, and they did something good for their country (but also something good for Italy). Paraguay shook us Italians in our boots when they scored the first goal. It gave Marcello Lippi something to scold his players for, it gave the Italian team something to work hard to fix, and it helped the Azzuri realize that just because they won the last time, next times are always different.
Here are the problems with the Italian team (from my perspective, anyways):
- They have heads the sizes of cantaloupes. Winning their fourth World Cup is an amazing accomplishment, but we Italians are known for letting big achievements become even bigger ego boosters. I say that if the Italian team wants to make it out of the group stages alive, they need to forget about how great they played four years ago and start focusing on how great they need to play now.
- Andrea Pirlo needs to fix his calf injury asap because Mauro Camoranesi can't do this all on his own!
- Simone Pepe needs to try a little harder to be there when his team sets him up for a cross.
- Offsides need to be kept to a minimum (we had enough problems during the Euro Cup two years ago when cutie Luca Toni decided to go offside at almost every chance he had).
- Lastly, the Azzurri need to play every minute of every game they are blessed with in their future as though it is the last minute in the World Cup final and they are down a goal.
I'm no soccer superstar and though I only played recreational soccer, I did play for ten plus years and I have been watching World and Euro Cups for as long as I can remember. I am happy that the Italian team got a point today but I wish they tried a little harder. Being notoriously slow at the start of any major international tournament isn't a good enough excuse for me.
To the future games, to the future competitions, to the future Italian flags on numerous cars that pass me by; Forza Italia. Forza Azzurri.