Saturday January 18 2020
Mancio: 'Had to change Azzurri philosophy'

Roberto Mancini says it was time for Italy to change their philosophy, and that Nicolo Zaniolo can make Euro 2020. "I spoke to him on the phone, he's charged."

Mancini gave a lengthy interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport, along with former Azzurri coach Arrigo Sacchi, and touched upon multiple issues relating to the national side.

Mancini said it was time for Italy to change their philosophy.

“Johan Cruyff once said: “Italy can’t win, but you can still lose to them.” This is what we have to change,” said Mancini.

“On the first day I said to the team: “We have to do something different, otherwise people won’t care about the national team.” We can’t continue to win 1-0.

“We have to risk conceding a goal, and if we do, patience. After the first goal we need to search for the second and the third. The players like to attack and win, in the national side they enjoy this.

“The lads have followed me with enthusiasm. We all want to win.”

Mancini then discussed the state of his current group of players.

“This is a healthy group, of good guys. When Federico Chiesa, Nicolo Barella, Gianluca Mancini and Lorenzo Pellegrini went to the Euro U-21s last summer, they were considered among the best. Sandro Tonali is growing, Gaetano Castrovilli is improving the more he plays.”

Nicolo Zaniolo has been in the headlines this week due to his season-ending injury, but Mancio believes he can make Euro 2020.

“I’m sorry for him, because he would have improved further. Nicolo is unique because he covers multiple roles, he is powerful and has different characteristics from the others.

“On the phone I heard him well, charged. He’s young, and he can make it to the European Championships.”

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