Italy hosted Albania for a World Cup Qualifier at the Stadio Renzo Barbera in Palermo as Gianluigi Buffon marked a milestone 1,000th career appearance.
Gigi Buffon Is Still Going Strong
Even at the age of 39, Buffon is still competing at the highest level and breaking records. Not only did he mark his 1,000th game with a clean sheet but Buffon earned his 168th cap for the Italian National Team, a European record. Already having an illustrious career, there’s still time for Gigi to write even more history.
Ventura Is Imprinting His System
Head coach Giampiero Ventura is slowly imprinting his stamp on the national team. His 4–2–4 formation has pleased almost all the fans and has looked quite formidable. With talented wingers in Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi, Domenico Berardi & Antonio Candreva and formidable strikers in Andrea Belotti, Ciro Immobile & Manolo Gabbiadini it is refreshing to see an Italian team with young talent and a potent attack. Once his squad players get more familiar with Ventura’s system, this team will have the potential to fire on all cylinders and achieve some big things.
Italy Has Talented Fullbacks
Granted it was only Albania but Davide Zappacosta and Mattia Di Sciglio put in admirable performances both defensively and going forward. Zappacosta’s inch-perfect cross found Immobile for the second goal to seal the three points for the Italians.
There was also Matteo Darmian and first-time call-up Leonardo Spinazzola on the bench. Not only are these guys young and talented but each are effective going forward which bodes well in Ventura’s style of play.
The Future Looks Bright
I think we’ve known this since Euro 2016 ended but it’s still so refreshing to have an exciting future ahead. Ventura said after the match, “There are many young and new players who are gaining experience and we’ve got everything in place to have a strong future for the Azzurri…we’ve got what it takes to make this a wonderful Italy squad.”
Ventura putting faith in the youngsters and giving them an opportunity is great to see. Here’s to a great future and hopefully some trophies.