Saturday July 20 2013
Di Biagio: 'My U21 Italy task'

New Italy Under-21 Coach Gigi Di Biagio feels his task is “to get results, but above all to grow these lads.”

The former Roma and Inter midfielder was promoted to the post from the Under-20 bench to replace Devis Mangia after the Azzurrini finished second in the European Under-21 Championship.

“I am very happy and proud of this new position,” Di Biagio told La Repubblica.

“I am aware of the difficulties that await me. Mangia did a great job in terms of results and the performances of the team. He also continued to grow the young talents chosen.”

Some players, such as Marco Verratti, Mattia De Sciglio and Alessandro Florenzi, have already made the step up to the Nazionale.

“I haven’t spoken to Cesare Prandelli yet, but Arrigo Sacchi always told the youth levels to give the priority to the senior Italy squad and it’s only right.

“Verratti, De Sciglio and Florenzi must not be considered isolated talents, as our task is to get results and uncover something new, but above all to grow these lads.

“I often speak to youth team co-ordinator Sacchi. He helped me improve during these three years working with the Federation, as he sets out the guiding principles.

“This will be one of the most important periods for the Under-21 side, as we must prepare for the Euros and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”

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