When the national team, the winner of this year’s European Championship (Euro 2020), visited the (Bambino Gesu) Children’s Hospital in the capital Rome this week, that kind gesture grabbed the spotlight for a brief period of the highly anticipated confrontation that awaits them with its guest, Switzerland, on Friday in the European qualifying qualifiers. for the World Cup in Qatar next year.
The players took pictures with the young fans, and presented the hospital with a replica of the European Nations Cup, and Roberto Mancini, the team’s coach, received paintings drawn by the patients, with one of them saying: “On the field and in life, we win the match together.”
Mancini pledged to hang that painting in the players’ dressing room in order to motivate them before the expected match.
The Italian national team will need to collect the three points against Switzerland, and in the event of losing the match that will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, their path to the World Cup will be threatened by complications due to the European play-off matches.
Mancini called on his players to “keep calm”, saying, “The matches against Switzerland are usually difficult, but we should not be too nervous.”
Italy and Switzerland share the top of Group C with 14 points each, and if the hosts lose, they will have to wait for Switzerland to lose against its guest Bulgaria in the last round of the group next Monday, with the blue team beating its host Northern Ireland in the same round, so that the two teams are equal In the same balance, the Italian team will win the lead and then reach the World Cup directly in his favour, as the goal difference, which will be invoked in that case according to the qualifying list, will be in his favour.
The state of the Italian national team also causes little euphoria, as Mancini will have to dispense with the services of three of the main pillars of the team, Giorgio Chiellini, Marco Verratti and Ciro Immobile.
Immobile suffers from a muscle injury, while the reason for the absence of the veteran defender and captain of the Italian national team Chiellini has not yet been revealed.
Immobile and Chiellini left the training camp, while midfielder Verratti did not even make it to the camp, due to a thigh injury. Also absent from the European champions are Matteo Pesina, Alessandro Florenzi and Rafael Toloi.
The Italian national team always suffers from stumbling after achieving great successes. The fans of the team still remember the painful farewell from the group stage of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, after winning the world title in the previous edition in 2006 in Germany.
Immediately after his victory in (Euro 2020) at Wembley last July, Italy fell into the trap of a 1-1 draw with its Bulgarian counterpart, and then drew 0-0 with Switzerland last September, during its first two competitive matches after winning its continental title.
Italy fans painfully remember the team’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but they should not be too pessimistic, as Italy has not lost to Switzerland since 1993.
The Swiss team also suffers from the injury of Brill Embolo and Nico Elvedi, the duo of the German team Borussia Monchengladbach, along with Haris Seferovic and captain Granit Xhaka.
Midfielder Xhaka sent a motivational video to his teammates, saying, “We know we can upset them, we know we can beat them,” while Switzerland coach Murat Yakin stressed, “We have nothing to lose.” It’s a completely different story for the Italians.