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Euro 2024 : Why Donnarumma will be Italy’s starting goalkeeper despite PSG errors and Vicario


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Gigio Donnarumma is under pressure at PSG but it is highly unlikely that he will lose his starting spot with Italy at Euro 2024, writes Lorenzo Bettoni.

Donnarumma was highly criticised by Italian and French media last week, in the aftermath of PSG’s 3-2 home loss to Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals. It is not the first time Gigio has been at fault this season and errors against Monaco and Newcastle in the Champions League are still fresh in the PSG supporters’ minds.

However, the Italy international has kept 16 clean sheets in 36 appearances at a club level this term, conceding 32 times and even if many fans are bagging Spalletti to drop the ex-Milan star in favour of Guglielmo Vicario at Euro 2024, there is practically no chance to see Donnarumma go on the bench in Germany next summer.

Don’t forget that Gigio has captained the Azzurri six times in eight games under Spalletti. Practically every match except the coach’s debut in September and the last outing with Ecuador, when Vicario was given his senior debut.

The Spurs keeper is having a fantastic season at Tottenham despite 50 goals conceded in 34 appearances and just seven clean sheets. Nevertheless, Spalletti strongly relies on Donnarumma and sees him as one of the dressing room leaders. The CT has a high opinion of Gigio, especially after seeing him deal with boos from the Stadio Meazza in October 2023.

Italy’s Delegation Cheif Gianluigi Buffon, perhaps, the country’s best goalkeeper ever, shares the same view on the ex-Milan star. Although he rates all other Italy keepers very highly, Buffon said in September 2023 that the Azzurri will be “in safe hands if Gigio has a cold” suggesting that Donnarumma will surely be the starter between the sticks for the foreseeable future.

Many also tend to forget that Donnarumma didn’t only play a key role in Italy’s Euro 2024 triumph with key saves in penalty shootouts against Spain and England but was also named the best player in the tournament after the legendary Wembley Final.

Only a few months ago, retired Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini called Donnarumma the current “best Italian player,” so it is clear that the perception of players and those directly involved in the game is very different from the fans’ perspective.

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