Italy’s Federico Chiesa out for long time

The Italian national team and Juventus will have to do without Federico Chiesa for the next seven to ten months. The 24-year-old attacker ruptured his cruciate ligament during his club’s 4-3 away success at AS Roma in the Italian Serie A on Sunday. A few hours later, Chiesa was examined by specialist Prof. Marc Martens in the Belgian city of Antwerp.  

A man for decisive goals

Chiesa represents anything but a personified goal-scoring machine. That description clearly suited more to his father Enrico. The other side of the coin is that he scores decisive goals. In the national team, the 24-year-old has netted four times in thirty-eight games so far. The first of these arrived in 2019 in a 9-1 against Armenia. On that occasion, Chiesa also contributed with three assists.

The attacking player, who is on loan from Fiorentina to arch-rivals Juventus since October 2020, then scored three times for the Azzurri last year. At EURO 2020, he gave the Azzurri the lead in the round of sixteen against Austria after a goalless regular time. Then in the semi-final against Spain, he made the 1-0 in the 60th minute. Thus, he played a key role in the team’s success in the EURO 2020.

The European champions must fight for their World Cup participation

Less than two months later, the euphoria had already faded. Although Chiesa scored the 1-0 goal in the 16th minute, the Azzurri had to accept a 1-1 home draw against Bulgaria in the World Cup qualifiers. Roberto Mancini’s team remained unbeaten, but in their next four games they only managed a win against points suppliers Lithuania. With two draws against eventual winners Switzerland and one in Northern Ireland, Italy squandered their direct ticket to the tournament in Qatar.

The competition in the emirate is scheduled from 21 November to 18 December. That means the kick-off will be in almost exactly ten months and for Chiesa, it’s a race against time. And only in March will we find out whether the Italian national team will celebrate its comeback at a World Cup.

Italy’s play-off opponents are Northern Macedonia, Portugal, and Turkey

In November 2017, Sweden threw a spanner in the play-offs for the finals in Russia in the summer of 2018. Now the European champions will face North Macedonia in a semi-final at home. Afterwards, the winner of this duel will compete away against the one in the clash between Portugal and Turkey. Like the Azzurri, the Portuguese national team lost its direct ticket in the last phase. That happened with a 0-0 in Ireland and a 1-2 in the showdown against Serbia.

The mood is wholly different for Northern Macedonia and Turkey. Italy’s semi-final opponents remained pointless at EURO 2020, but they represent a high-flyer. And Turkey made it into the play-offs at the last minute after signing the former head coach of the German U21 national team, Stefan Kuntz.

Alice Kopp

By Alice Kopp

Alice is half Austrian and half Italian. That's why she experienced the 1990 World Cup in Italy at first hand. And that awakened her enthusiasm for football. Since she has loved writing since childhood, Alice began to study journalism while still at school. It was very convenient for her that her class took part in a project of a German daily newspaper. She was also allowed to write for the children's pages of an Austrian daily newspaper and to get a taste of the sports department of the same medium. This is how she received her first press accreditations, which was of course anything but a matter of course for the then 18-year-old. Although she was partly advised against it, Alice decided to study journalism and communication sciences. After a few years, she decided to use the exams she had taken as an elective. Nevertheless, she applies the knowledge she has acquired in her further professional life. The same applies to her language skills. In addition to her mother tongues German and Italian, Alice is also proficient in English and Spanish. She also understands French and can use this language in research. During her studies, Alice was involved in an Austrian football club. At the same time, she wrote for a total of three Austrian portals and worked as an Austria correspondent for an Italian-language online medium. This collaboration started during Giovanni Trapattoni's era at Red Bull Salzburg and continued during EURO 2008. This gave her the opportunity to interact with Trapattoni as well as with Italian journalists. From the following year, Alice initially worked with a Swiss portal before discovering sports betting content for herself. On the one hand, this kept her in sports journalism, and on the other, it broadened her horizons. And that both in the context of the sports betting industry and with other sports as well as countries. In the field of sports journalism, she focused in particular on football from around the world, volleyball and beach volleyball. In addition, she naturally wrote several guides, bookmaker profiles, bonus articles and other content for betting enthusiasts. She did this for the same company for about ten years, writing articles in German and Italian. She also built the Italian-language website together with the managing director. Meanwhile, Alice started working with another Austrian football club. Furthermore, she joined the Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive (AIPS) in 2016. This gives her the opportunity to watch teams and athletes on the ground relatively often. Not only sports betting, but also radio In January 2019, the next step in her professional development followed. For: she started creating premium content on the topic of sports betting. In the process, she finally put out feelers to almost all countries and all continents. And this was not least due to the fact that both German and English-speaking users subscribed to her content. Nevertheless, Alice continued to use her knowledge of Italian, among other things. On the one hand, because she regularly exchanges ideas with Italian colleagues, and on the other, because she works with a web radio station. The Corona crisis had a strong impact on the sports world and on interest in sports betting, primarily in the early days. Therefore, a fresh start was necessary and, on balance, Alice found the fields of activity that suited her best. She also writes articles for an agency on almost all disciplines as well as on eSports and content for a German online medium. Alice is half Austrian and half Italian. That's why she experienced the 1990 World Cup in Italy at first hand. And that awakened her enthusiasm for football.