Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

ROME, ITALY – Just as Italian artists Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Donatello created great art 600 years ago, could Italy be seeing the second Italian renaissance led by Roberto Mancini, Giorgio Chiellini and Marco Verratti?

Thanks to becoming the first team in EURO history to win all three group stage matches without conceding and six straight matches without conceding a goal (all comps), the four-time World Cup champion Azzurri are on a historic run that would make Raphael smile.

Mancini’s side has tallied 25 wins, 5 draws, 0 losses in their last 30 matches. Italy has scored 81 goals, allowed seven goals and recorded 23 clean sheets. Italy’s last loss was Sept 10, 2018 (1-0 vs. POR), a span of almost three years.

It takes a lot for a side to overshadow a defending World Cup champion such as France, a long-time European powerhouse—and old rival—in Germany, and a defending EURO champion that is headlined by arguably the biggest superstar in the sport in Cristian Ronaldo, but thanks to their solid play, and being on the precipice of immortality, the Italians have arrived.

Like Julius Caesar, they have crossed the Rubicon of European soccer legend, and if they are able to hoist the trophy in London, like their ancient gladiator brothers, be forever remembered in etching a special place in history.

While their ancient rivals from Gaul (present-day France), Roman Germania (Germany) and Lusitania (Portugal) await, there is no doubt that gli Azzurri are ready and up for the challenge in bringing European futbol glory back home where it belongs, along the eternally flowing rivers of Rome.  






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