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 Ã¢ÂÂ limited edition, first come, first served.The world this side of the French border, at least, is a better place. The Small Faces tune, Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs all too beautifulÃ¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ yes, itÃ¢ÂÂs a bit of time warp here - was blasting out. The title was splashed across the front-page of La Gazzetta Dello Sport.Ã¢ÂÂItaly beat France and Holland donÃ¢ÂÂt give Romania a little discount - and all in one night.Ã¢ÂÂIt doesnÃ¢ÂÂt get any better than that for the Pink Ã¢ÂÂUn who could not forget the little favour from the Dutch in defeating Romania.Ã¢ÂÂThanks Holland,Ã¢ÂÂ 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 Ã¢ÂÂVamosÃ¢ÂÂ headlines ready.ThatÃ¢ÂÂs 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.Ã¢ÂÂViva ItaliaÃ¢ÂÂ, was how Corriere Dello Sport hailed the victory.Ã¢ÂÂEveryone is a Champ,Ã¢ÂÂ 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 PieroÃ¢ÂÂs absence.Anyway, letÃ¢ÂÂs 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: Ã¢ÂÂMamma, how are you?Ã¢ÂÂ Mamma answers: Ã¢ÂÂFine.Ã¢ÂÂ The son replies: Ã¢ÂÂSorry, I must have the wrong number.iÃ¢ÂÂForza Italia!