Monday June 10 2019
Bonucci: Mancini changed Italy

Leonardo Bonucci believes CT Roberto Mancini has ‘changed’ Italy and reveals the keys to his relationship with Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini.

Mancini has led Italy to four straight wins and six consecutive clean sheets, the Azzurri going eight months without conceding a goal.

“What’s changed, above all, is our CT,” Bonucci said at a Press conference.

“He came in with a very precise idea, which has gone on to spread throughout Italian football.

“Many young players have managed to impose themselves, each giving their own contributions.”

La Nazionale face a Bosnia-Herzegovina side boosted by the return of the defender’s Juventus teammate Miralem Pjanic in their next Euro 2020 qualifier on Tuesday.

“Bosnia deserve great respect, beyond their result in Finland, and like Greece can cause us problems,” warned the 32-year-old.

“They have great players, like Dzeko and Pjanic, who are forward-thinking. Miralem will return for them tomorrow and he makes them tick.

“He does that for Juventus, as well as the national team. He’s crucial for them and Bosnia won’t play like they did against Finland.”

Bonucci and Chiellini remain the default centre-back pairing for both Italy and Juve...

“What interests Chiellini and I is not conceding. We’re able to create chances and it makes us happy when we take them.

“Giorgio and I have a relationship of friendship and esteem, on and off the field, and we’ll keep going until the end of both our careers.

“Our objective is to make players understand what it means to be in a team like the national team.

“A great group has been recreated and the young players are doing their work to the fullest.

“We have a group of goalkeepers who are good enough for the national team. I’ve known Sirigu since we were children and played against him during that time.

“The same can also be said of Perin and Donnarumma, as well as Cragno, Gollini and Mirante.

“We have a bright future in goal... but the defensive phase starts with the forwards. Belotti took a warning after chasing a player 10 metres from our box!”

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