Four teams head to London for the final week of Euro 2020 and as well as promising close battles, the two semi-finals present a fascinating clash of football styles and tactical approaches.
While football has its ideologues, who insist that a particular approach is the right way to play the game, the ‘final four’ are proof that there really is no single formula to success.
The quartet also illustrate, in differing ways, how national teams can escape from their typecasting, the stereotypes that linger around them and reappear in commentary around major tournaments.
Italy has evolved under Roberto Mancini into a team that play high-energy, pressing football, looking to attack in numbers as soon as it wins the ball.
Lazy cliches about ‘catenaccio’, which refer back to a defensive style from over half a…