Tuesday June 18 2013
Abete: 'Clubs must use U21 stars'

FIGC President Giancarlo Abete warns the European Under-21 Final defeat to Spain shows “Italian clubs must make more of their young players.”

While Italy reached the Final of the tournament, most of the squad ply their trade in Serie B, whereas the Spanish are already stars in La Liga or Premier League.

“We have to be satisfied and clear-headed in evaluating what happened, as Spain are objectively stronger and deserved the victory,” Abete told Rai Sport after the 4-2 defeat.

The Federation chief was asked whether Coach Devis Mangia will remain, seeing as his contract expires at the end of the month.

“We agreed before the Final to see each other in a few days to work out his objectives for the future. Our door is wide open for him and we’d be happy to continue, as he worked very well with players who haven’t had many opportunities for their clubs at international or even top flight level.

“Obviously we cannot impose rules on the clubs, but we can stimulate them to make more of these young players.

“After all, at Under-21 level we are second only to Spain, who are extraordinary. Spain invested in their youth academies more than we did and the difference is clearly in the quality of individuals. They have players who are already senior squad regulars.”

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