Italy is restoring pride in a tarnished national game while England is shaking off past inhibitions.
The European Championship is turning out better than expected for the English and Italians,who meet on Sunday in the quarterfinals.
The Italians are providing a welcome distraction from another match-fixing scandal at home after setting out in the tournament under siege from fans and the police.
England also entered Euro 2012 at a low ebb after a hastily appointed new coach was given the task of putting together a team which could just compete credibly.
But they’ve already managed to register a first competitive victory over Sweden and triumph over the host of a European Championship when they beat Ukraine to advance as group winners.