Euro 2020 kicked off at the Stadio Olimpico earlier this evening with all the flair and pageantry only Italians can conjure out of thin air. With a pre-match rendition of Nessun Dorma by none other than Andrea Bocelli and an opening ceremony that featured two of the greatest players to ever stride upon the Stadio Olimpico pitch (Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta), Italy and UEFA pulled out all the stops to set the stage for the first major tournament of the pandemic era.
There was one small problem, though. If you lived in the United States, ESPN decided we needed to absorb every possible second of the awkward studio trio of Rece Davis, Steve McManaman, and Alessandro Del Piero. I mean, why bathe in Bocelli's dulcet tones when you can be bludgeoned with a rare melange of Davis’ non-regional American diction and McManaman's unbridled scouse accent?
However, in usual Italian fashion, the Azzurri blew everyone away with their rendition of the Italian National Anthem prior to kickoff. And that stirring performance set the stage for an equally exciting Euro 2020 debut for the boys in...white. Despite playing in their national stadium in front of roughly 16,000 fans, Italy was officially listed as the away side and wore some of the blandest white kits you'll ever see.
Despite covering every blade of grass, winning nearly every 50/50 ball, dominating possession, and reeling off 14 first-half shots alone, Roberto Mancini's boys couldn't seem to find a breakthrough early in this match.
But their persistence would pay dividends in the second half. With their foot firmly on the gas, Italy pressured Turkey into a 53rd-minute own goal before tacking on two more for good measure.
So, in case you missed the action, enjoy the extended highlights of Italy's 3-0 win over Turkey, one in which Leonardo Spinazzola was named Man of the Match!