Roberto Mancini admits Italy “hope to win” Euro 2020 and sees France, Germany and Spain as the main contenders. “Italy have a glorious past and want a great future.”
The Azzurri qualified with a 100 per cent record from their group, winning all 10 games, and will play the first three matches of the tournament at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
“I hope to win the Euros. It’s a difficult situation, but it depends on us and if we improve in the next six months,” Mancini told reporters at the Leadership Sport Forum in Riyadh.
“There are stronger national teams out there, but it’s open to any result. We believe in our qualities and the objective is to be crowned Champions of Europe.
“In these tournaments, Italy, France, Germany and Spain all go in aiming to win the trophy. We must keep that status, even if the others have a head start. The Nazionale has a glorious history and we want a great future too.”
Mancini transformed the side that failed to qualify for the 2016 World Cup under Gian Piero Ventura and adopted a 4-3-3 formation.
“We manage to keep the ball and press high, so there are differences in the system, both defensively and in attack. Every coach has his ideas, but it’s no good if he doesn’t adapt to the players at his disposal.
“It’s an honour to lead Italy and it was a difficult situation, but I believed in our chances. We want to create something that will really stand the test of time.”
The Azzurri have in particular an excellent choice of midfielders, including Jorginho, Stefano Sensi, Marco Verratti, Nicolò Barella, Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Zaniolo.
“It was a delicate time when I took over the Nazionale, so I thought the only way out was to seek young players, perhaps without much experience, but excellent technique, so we could play good football.
“I wanted to bring the fans back to the Italy squad. I was lucky, as these lads made an immediate impact. They found their cohesion, I believed in them and they did the rest.
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