Before even pulling on the rig-outs they’ll get to wear on the pitch the Italians stormed into the lead in the steez stakes when they flew out of Malpensa last week. Decked-out in top-to-toe Dolce & Gabbana, Conte’s Capo’s jetted into France like bossmen from bosstown.
Even without retired post-casual poster boy Pirlo the Italians continue to set the sartorial standard both on and off the pitch. Despite being lumbered with Puma producing their kit, there’s something in the Italian DNA that turns even this misfortune into a winning hand.
The home shirt is classic Italy. Azzure blue, sleek, shiny and smart, it does what all Italy kits should do. It’s also, particularly compared to many, really plain. Apart from some fannying around with gold piping and the obligatory 80’s-inspired shadow-stripes it’s a simple blue shirt (though I haven’t read Puma’s blurb to accompany the release which probably tells us it’s made of the recycled tears of the virgin Mary).
It’s the away kit where the magic really lies and even then it’s in the tiny details. I couldn’t write about the Azzuri’s schmutter last week. It was essential to wait and see just whereabouts they would put the squad numbers that are de-riguer on the front of the shirts in modern tournament football (It wernt like that in my day lad). Lo-and-behold they placed them exactly where they should (course they did…they’re Italians). High-up on the left breast, where everyone else has a badge or a logo (natch) the numbers and they’re font are perfect. Giving the shirt perfect Preppy vibes and also recalling the NASL kits of the 1970’s they have turned a great kit into a really great kit.
Most Italian journalist’s rate this squad as the worst Italy have ever taken to a major Championship so your best bet is to get down the bookies and lump-on them as winners right now.