Italy are through to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
On Saturday evening, Roberto Mancini’s side defeated Austria 2-1 thanks to extra-time goals from substitutes Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina.
Sasa Kalajdzic scored in the 114th-minute at Wembley to make the dying embers of the game nervy for Italy, but they managed to hold on to secure their place in the final eight of the tournament.
The Azzurri’s victory means they will play either Belgium or Portugal in a potentially mouthwatering quarter-final clash next week.
We cannot wait for that game – regardless of who they play – and if the Italian side emerge from that match undefeated, they will edge closer towards equaling the longest unbeaten run in the history of international football.
Italy 2-1 Austria Match Reaction | The Football Terrace
Mancini’s side have now avoided defeat for 31 consecutive games. The last time they lost was on September 10th, 2018, when Portugal beat them in the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
Italy’s current run is now the joint-third longest on the international stage and they’re just four matches behind the record holders, per Goal.
The nine longest unbeaten runs in international football
France (2010-2012) – 23 matches
West Germany (1978-1981) – 23 matches
Algeria (2018-present) – 27 matches
France (1994-1996) – 30 matches
Italy (1935-1939) – 30 matches
Argentina (1991-1993) – 31 matches
Italy (2018-present) – 31 matches
Spain (2007-2009) – 35 matches
Brazil (1993-1996) – 35 matches
So Italy are just four games away from equalling Spain and Brazil’s incredible 35-match unbeaten runs.
That means the Azzurri would have to win Euro 2020 this summer and then avoid defeat in their first match after the triumph.
It’s certainly a tall order for Mancini’s side, but there’s no denying that they have the quality and team spirit required to earn the right to lift the coveted trophy on July 11th at Wembley.
They will have to do it the hard way, though.
As we previously mentioned, Italy will play either Belgium or Portugal in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 and if they win that, a date with France or Spain in the semi-finals is very likely.