Euro 2020 – Belgium-Italy (Quarter-final): Federico Chiesa, potential star and assumed “supersub”

Euro 2020 – Belgium-Italy (Quarter-final): Federico Chiesa, potential star and assumed “supersub”
Euro 2020 – Belgium-Italy (Quarter-final): Federico Chiesa, potential star and assumed “supersub”

He’s already done as well as dad. And the father can be proud of it. Federico Chiesa has already won the hearts of all Italians. A people on the verge of suffocation when the Juventus Turin player came to offer him a huge breath of fresh air. His individual achievement to give the Nazionale a decisive advantage against Austria (2-1 ap) will not be forgotten soon. Because he started the formation of Roberto Mancini on the way to the quarter-finals. And given to all his compatriots the right to dream of an even more glorious journey.

Chiesa holds part of this dream between her feet. It is not the most striking Italian individuality since the start of the tournament. Leonardo Spinazzola and Manuel Locatelli have more attracted the spotlight within a team praised above all for its collective quality. And, more and more, for that of his bench. With the excellent Matteo Pessina, Chiesa embodied the ability of Italian substitutes to make a difference. “We won this match thanks to the players who came from the bench, entered with the right mentality, and they found a way to solve this match.“, admitted Mancini after the victory against Austria.

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A season of fire

This role of “supersub”, Chiesa holds it perfectly so far in the tournament. Each of his entries into play gave a second breath to the transalpine attack during the group stage. The former Fiorentina player also knew how to seize his chance to shine on his only tenure, against Wales (1-0). In a match where Mancini had largely turned his workforce with the qualification already acquired, he was distinguished by his ability to make differences in attack. Chiesa hadn’t scored. But the quality of his performance was rewarded by UEFA with a man of the match distinction.

Chiesa, congratulated scorer

Credit: Getty Images

The 23-year-old could aspire to a more important status within the Nazionale. Recruited by Juventus last October, he has established himself as one of the strong links in the Turin team this season with 15 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. Performing in Serie A and the Champions League, the former Florentine has reached a milestone in an ultra-exposed club. He could legitimately hope to become an indisputable holder in selection. But Mancini has always been particularly demanding with him.

“Never too late to enter”

The Italian coach has never let go of a sole. Above all, he immediately spotted the player’s ability to make major differences in a team. On condition of pushing him to progress. And make the best use of it. “He’s not a second striker, he claimed in La Gazzetta dello Sport in January 2020, when Chiesa was still playing at that position at Fiorentina. He needs the line, on the wing it is wreaking havoc. I said to his father, Enrico: ‘Tell him to relax, to find peace and joy. He plays football, that doesn’t happen to everyone. It’s a privilege. ‘

Roberto Mancini

Credit: Getty Images

And Chiesa got the message. The winger of the Old Lady has not claimed anything in an Italian selection that exudes enthusiasm and joie de vivre. Above all, he fully understood that his role could be decisive in this Euro 2020. Even when leaving the bench. “It’s the merit of the coach who wants us to be ready, always, he explained after his winning comeback against Austria. Those who entered have shown they are ready to help the team. In such a tournament, it’s never too late to enter.”

The master asset at the end of the tournament?

Mancini can be happy to be able to count on such a wild card. In an Italian team which has this faculty to wear down its opponent thanks to its qualities in the movement of the ball and in the pressing, Chiesa takes full advantage of the fatigue accumulated in the opposing defense to make even greater differences when he enters the game. match. This is an ever more crucial asset as the tournament progresses. But the prospect of giving more playing time to the Turinese by aligning him from the kick-off is also attractive.

The difficulties encountered by Italy against Austria point in this direction. A match where Domenico Berardi seemed blunt after having been decisive at the start of the group stage. The hypothesis of replacing the winger of Sassuolo with that of Juve to face a stronger opposition like Belgium is far from meaningless. It is also making its way in the media of La Botte. Because Chiesa is perhaps the most talented element of this Nazionale. Because it is also one of the coolest. Mancini can make it the master asset of his starting XI after having benefited from a decisive “supersub”. A luxury far from trivial at this stage of the tournament.

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