Roberto Mancini aims for more international glory with Italy just months after Euro 2020 success
Roberto Mancini aims for more international glory with Italy just months after the success of Euro 2020, stressing that the Nations League is an ‘important competition’
- Roberto Mancini led Italy to a world record of 37 matches unbeaten
- He led Italy to the Euro 2020 victory over England at Wembley in July
- Now Mancini has his eye on another trophy as the Azzurri take on Spain
Italian coach Roberto Mancini has tasted glory at Euro 2020 and has his eye on a new trophy when the Azzurri take on Spain in their Nations League semi-final at the San Siro stadium on Wednesday.
Mancini has led Italy with a world record of 37 unbeaten matches, including the victorious Euro campaign in June and July, which culminated in the penalty shootout victory over England at Wembley.
The Nations League final four, which will also see France and Belgium collide in Turin on Thursday, has been moved to a slot in October due to the one-year postponement of the European Championship amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Coach Roberto Mancini celebrates Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph at Wembley in July
But despite the second edition of the tournament, won by Portugal in 2019, being squeezed onto the calendar, Mancini is eager to see his team confirm their status as the continent’s best dogs.
“This is an important match. Of course it just comes on the other side of Euro 2020 and you have a day to prepare for the match,” he told a press conference.
“It’s not very easy, but so are all the other teams involved in this competition. These are two games between four of the best teams in Europe, so there will be two very important games to try and improve as a side,” he added.
Mancini has his eye on another trophy when the Azzurri take on Spain on Wednesday night
Italy’s remarkable form makes them title favorites, but Mancini said nothing can be taken for granted against Luis Enrique’s side.
“We want to extend our streak tomorrow to reach the final. Our aim is to make this series as long as possible, if possible beyond December 2022,” he said, referring to next year’s World Cup in Qatar in November and December.
“But we are fully aware that we have to work hard game after game to continue like this,” he said.
The Spaniards pushed Italy to penalties when they met in the Euro 2020 semi-finals, with their signature possession game giving Mancini’s men a lot of trouble, and the Italian coach expects a similar match.
Moise Kean, loaned from Juventus from Everton, could play in the Nations League semi-finals
“Spain played their best match of the European Championship against us. They caused a lot of problems with their possession, but in that sense they are masters, they have been doing it for 20 years. We suffered a lot, even though the teams got more or less equal scoring opportunities during the game. We’ll have to play a great game.’
However, Mancini is without two of his strikers from the European Championship season, with Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti missing due to injury.
“We have some attacking problems because we are missing the strikers we had at the European Championship, but we have two young strikers here in (Giacomo) Raspadori and (Moise) Kean. Let’s see how best to use them,” he said.