Signed in May 2018 after failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, Roberto Mancini set a record with the Azzurri, who remained undefeated for 37 games and won UEFA EURO 2020 by beating England on penalties in the final.
Mancini has won trophies as a player with Sampdoria and Lazio and national titles as a coach with Inter and Manchester City. Now, the 56-year-old has a chance to win another trophy with Italy, the UEFA Nations League, but will face a tough semi-final against Spain.
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EURO 2020 highlights: Italy 1-1 Spain (4-2 on ad)
The match against Spain in the first match of the UEFA Nations League
Spain were the team that put us in the most difficulties at EURO 2020. They are a strong team, with good players. It will be a good match. They are good at dribbling, while we didn’t have time to get to their levels, but this time it will be different.
San Siro is usually full when the national team plays. It would be great to win the Nations League right after the European Championship and qualify early for the World Cup, but it won’t be easy.
The celebrations in Rome
On the return home after EURO 2020
It was great because we made so many people happy, young and old. It was a celebration for everyone, perhaps due to the period we are living through. The fans were enthusiastic and we play to entertain people.
The coolest things about EURO? Probably the relationship that has been created in the team. The group worked together for 50 days and it’s not easy. It was a hard and tiring day, but there were no problems. Chemistry and affection are not easy to obtain.
Player of the Tournament: Gianluigi Donnarumma
On the rising stars of Italy
[Gianluigi Donnarumma] he started playing at a very young age. It has great qualities. He improves year after year and wants to be considered the best goalkeeper [del mondo]. Of course, we were very lucky to have him at EURO 2020.
I think Federico [Chiesa] may still grow. It is improving in several respects. He has good athletic and technical skills. It has to grow mentally and find stability.
On the proactive style of Italy
Each game is full of difficulties. When we play against weaker teams, it is difficult because they defend themselves.
There is no one way to win. It’s not just about playing well. Of course, if we manage to win by playing well and putting on a show, it’s even better. There are many ways to win. The perception of Italy has changed, but we cannot forget that Italy has won four World Cups. We are the European champions and we have an important history.