Roberto Mancini is confident Italy “will be stronger” as a team when the Euros come around next summer. “We can play to win Italy’s first European title since 1968.”
The CT spoke to Sport Mediaset about the postponement of the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can only hope that things return to the way they were. It was awful for those families who lost loved ones and I can’t help but feel we should’ve been better prepared in 2020.
“It’s important that football resumes, as it is a source of social cohesion and we as a nation deserve to celebrate again.”
Italy had become contenders for Euro 2020 after winning all 10 of their qualifying group games, but the competition will now be in the summer of 2021.
“I am glad that we got the fans to love the Nazionale again after a difficult period. We achieved that via excellent results and entertaining performances. The players realised they weren’t bad, it was just that we had to believe in ourselves.
“The risk of this postponement is that other national teams will improve over the next year, just as we will. However, we are one of the youngest squads, so another year of experience will make a bigger difference to us.
“We’ve been able to create a strong team that wants to get better and can play to win Italy’s first European title since 1968,” continued Mancini.
“Bringing the trophy back to Italy after all those yeas would be magnificent and we have the quality to do that.”
The postponement certainly helps Roma talent Nicolò Zaniolo, who otherwise would’ve missed the Euros with a serious knee injury.
“Zaniolo will grow and it’ll be an important year for him. I think he can play on the right side of midfield or in a more advanced role, but his position as far as I am concerned is in a three-man defence as a mezz’ala.
“Sandro Tonali is also very young and I don’t know if he’ll remain at Brescia next season or go elsewhere. He just needs to gain experience at a higher level.”