Naoko Scintu: Make-up Artist and Italy Fan following Euro 2016

 L to R: Yumiko, their Dad, Naoko

L to R: Yumiko, their Dad, Naoko

My sister Yumiko and I arrived at my dad's flat in Leicester Square at approximately 6pm to prepare a massive bowl of pasta al pesto and salad. We have to eat before the game so there are no distractions.The green, white and red flag is hanging outside the window for all to view over Charing Cross Road. This is where we will watch all the Italy games together. My dad keeps saying the squad is basically Juventus (as a massive Fiorentina fan he isn't happy) and we keep telling him to calm down as it’s our national team. Obviously he spots the only Fiorentina player on the bench!

 

Anyway, we have a strong start to the game. The first 15 minutes we are pushing forward, attacking and not sitting back for a change!! Graziano Pellè looks great, he's an intelligent player, and Leonardo Bonucci is defending brilliantly. Bonucci's plays a beautiful pass to Emanuele Giaccherini and we score in the 32nd minute. My sister, Dad and I are on our feet screaming (not a dissimilar celebration to manager Antonio Conte, but no nose bleeds). Pellè is denied a goal 35 minutes in, it should have been two!!

 

Our game was very impressive in the first half, compact defending (as always) with repetitive passes forward. Italy are playing as a unit which is very important for the team. Our players are passionate which is so important as well.The second half isn't as strong as we started, slightly falling back and we take 3 tactical yellow cards (which might bite us in the back side later on in the tournament). We are giving the ball away more, slightly losing discipline but still defending well. We have the experience and confidence of Gianluigi Buffon who makes a number of brilliant saves. Divock Origi nearly scored for Belgium in the 81st minute, then Ciro Immobile is on target in the 84th but denied.

 

Then Pellè (with his perfectly styled hair) on the counter attack makes it a second goal in the 92nd minute.What a beautiful goal!! We are screaming again, we deserved it! We were committed, played like a unit, defended brilliantly and Conte brings great discipline. Overall, a great start to the Azzurri's campaign. Same place on Friday for the next one. FORZZA AZZURRI!!!! Plus, I love the away kit, with the Italian flag down the middle of the shirt. I'll be getting that one today!

Words and Image Naoko Scintu