Euros 2024

Why are Italy Struggling in Euro 2024? A Quick Analysis

Mattia Zaccagni’s last-gasp equaliser in the 98th minute secured second place for Italy in a tense encounter with Croatia in their final UEFA EURO 2024 Group B match in Leipzig. The result provided temporary respite for the defending champions, but throughout the match, Italy couldn’t disguise their vulnerabilities.

The Azzurri’s tournament has been a curious one thus far. This team bears little resemblance to the one that conquered England on penalties three years ago, securing Italy’s second European Championship title. Luciano Spalletti’s men undoubtedly lack the experience Roberto Mancini’s squad possessed back then.

Defensive Issues

Italy are without their defensive stalwarts of recent years, Bonucci and Chiellini, who’ve retired. Youngsters Alessandro Bastoni and Riccardo Calafiori have been handed the responsibility of filling those sizeable voids.

Calafiori impressed on his Azzurri debut with a stellar performance against Albania, but his tournament took a turn for the worse five days later when he conceded a costly own goal against Spain. The Bologna man produced another impressive display against Croatia, but Italy were unable to keep the cleansheet once again.

Spalletti’s three-man backline have struggled to prevent opposition attackers from breaching the line during transitions. Gianluigi Donnarumma’s performance under the sticks have been instrumental in keeping the opposition goal count down.

Attacking Issues

While Gianluca Scamacca has been tearing it up for Atalanta, his national team form has been a different story. He’s managed to hit the back of the net only once in 17 appearances for the Azzurri. None of Italy’s goals in the first three matches came from their striker. Spalletti needs to find a way to get more prolific returns from his attackers moving forward.


Spalletti’s preparations for the continental tournament were disrupted by injuries to key players Domenico Berardi and Francesco Acerbi, forcing him to make last-minute tweaks to Italy’s tactical approach.

Italy have stumbled through the group stages, securing a last-gasp meeting with Switzerland in the Round of 16. However, to retain their title, significant tactical adjustments are needed to ensure a more cohesive performance for the rest of the tournament.