Doom and gloom to joy unabated... Italy in a nutshell

By FourFourTwo guest columnist Riccardo Rossi of Serie Aaaaargh!

From utter despair and grumblings of a fix, to joy unabated: Italy in a nutshell.Wednesday dawned bright and warm right across the peninsula and the local cafes were handing out free croissants – limited edition, first come, first served.The world this side of the French border, at least, is a better place. The Small Faces tune, “It’s all too beautiful” – yes, it’s a bit of time warp here - was blasting out. The title was splashed across the front-page of La Gazzetta Dello Sport.“Italy beat France and Holland don’t give Romania a little discount -  and all in one night.”It doesn’t get any better than that for the Pink ‘Un who could not forget the little favour from the Dutch in defeating Romania.“Thanks Holland,” they added. Of course, that will all be forgotten if the Azzurri meet the Orangemen in the semi-finals.

BOOM! De Rossi takes aim and fires Azzurri into quarter-finals 

No use leaping too far ahead. There is the small matter of Spain in the quarter-finals although the dailies have their “Vamos” headlines ready.That’s for another day, i.e. tomorrow, but there's enough to bask in the warm afterglow of putting the French and the reviled Raymond Domenech to the sword.“Viva Italia”, was how Corriere Dello Sport hailed the victory.“Everyone is a Champ,” thundered Tuttosport who of course can never let go of their Juventus bias and gave the man-of-the-match award to Gianluigi Buffon while at the same time failing to resist a moan at Alex Del Piero’s absence.Anyway, let’s enjoy the good times while we can as no doubt there will be plenty of complaining to come.As the old Italian joke goes: A son calls his mother and says: “Mamma, how are you?” Mamma answers: “Fine.” The son replies: “Sorry, I must have the wrong number.i”Forza Italia!

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