Italy coach Roberto Mancini says videos of the Italian people singing on their balconies in the midst of the Coronavirus lockdown “is the authentic Italy.”
The country has been in lockdown for close to two weeks due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has killed over 4,000 people in Italy alone.
Mancini gave an interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport and spoke about the country.
“I haven’t even thought about leaving Italy at this time, because I feel safe here and I have the full confidence in our doctors who are doing a heroic job. I want to feel close to those in need,” Mancini told the Milan daily.
“I say this is as a simple citizen, not because I have an institutional role and I represent Italy.”
Videos have went viral around the globe of Italians singing on their balconies due to the lockdown, what does Mancini think of them?
“I like it very much. It’s the most authentic Italy. It represents us. It is we who give our best in difficult circumstances, when we hug, help and put all our humanity into play.
“These people, after so much pain and fear, would have deserved the European Championships to get distracted and start again.”
Mancini says he has called several of players in the last few weeks in light of sport being suspended as a consequence of the Coronavirus.
“In the past few weeks I called some of my players, especially those who are injured and ones in doubt. I worked on the friendlies with England and Germany and I started setting up Euro 2020.
“I must admit that I felt disappointed when it was announced [that it was cancelled].”
When the season resumes, will Juventus be the favourites, given their large squad?
“Juve will be favourites, yes, but it will be an open fight. Lazio are in the running, but I also say Inter also, precisely because the situation will be exceptional, a new world, it’s impossible to make scientific predictions.
“There could be surprises. The important thing, however, is to start again, because it would mean we have regained our normalcy.
“That is why I would wait until the last minute before suspending the Olympics in Tokyo. It is too important of a competition, it would be the feast of the world that fear left behind.”
There has been talk in Italy of clubs wanting players to take salary cuts in light of the suspension of all sport, what does Mancini think of the situation?
“There’s no point making decisions now. Let’s wait. I think positively, I’m sure the league will start again and will be completed.
“Then, if all the games are played, the problem will be less problematic.
“The players still have a sense of responsibility to respond in the right way to any needs of the clubs.”
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