Euro 2020 Journal- Entry 1: The Legend of Domenico Berardi

We’ve all missed tournament football. I’ve missed it. You’ve missed it.

Italy v Turkey from Rome. The lineups are in.

Match commentators: Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman.

One Turkish player perks my interest, Okay Yokuslu. Along with The West Brom midfielder’s extraordinary first name, I’m also a sucker for defensive midfielders. I don’t have an inkling how he plays. Is he cultured steering wheel of a holding mid? Or is he an ankle biting Mako Shark of a holding mid?

(Post match conclusion: Okay was neither a steering wheel or a Mako Shark. While his passing was tidy in spells, he was taken off at minute 65.)

A cool Domenico Berardi origin story from Taylor Twellman. Legend is, scouts discovered Berardi playing in a 5v5 tournament. He hadn’t played academy football to that point.

Ciro Immobile scores in the 66th minute. It’s a true strikers goal too. Immobile loiters around the penalty spot until a rebound drops in front of him after Cakir’s initial save. Immobile side foots it in with his right foot. Clean.

Hopefully this an omen for a high scoring tournament. It’s satisfying when your strikers score. The tournament feels proper that way. Think Totò Schillaci in Italia 90 or Ronaldo in Korea/Japan 2002. Is the first of a clutch of Immobile goals on way to the golden boot?

The possibilities!

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