Sports

Italy’s Nations League performances stun Mancini

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Italy national team head coach, Roberto Mancini, has been impressed with the Azzurri’s performances in the UEFA Nations League tournament.

The Italian team which have been undergoing a revamp under Mancini with some fresh blood injected, have continued to reel out shocking surprises that deserved the coach’s commendations. Mancini, in a post-match press conference after Italy drew at Wolverhampton with the Three Lions of England to remain top of the group that also includes Hungary and Germany, admitted he never expected to get the results they produce.

According to the Italian boss, it was risky to give opportunities to these newbies but praised their performances by rating them above the squad that won the EURO 2020. Mancini said, “I’ll be honest, I did not expect this, I thought it’d be worse.

“We still have a lot to work on, there’s a long road ahead full of dangers. We certainly need to score more goals and if Davide Frattesi had scored in the opening five minutes, it would’ve been a different game. He’ll get it next time. “I didn’t expect us to do so well in these three weeks together.

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It’s important that we haven’t changed our style of football, even when the personnel did,” he confessed. Mancini went further to exemplify some of the players that have shown capacity with stunning surprises in the course of the UEFA Nations League tourneys.

Azzurri’s boss continued: “If I play Gatti, it’s because I think he can become an excellent defender for the future. The same goes for Sandro Tonali, he is 22 years old, but one of the best midfielders in Italy. “Pellegrini has his own style of football, he’s not a 10 like Giuseppe Giannini, nor a 10 like Francesco Totti. I think he can become much better with time because he is so good at both attacking and defending.

“At times he loses balls he shouldn’t, but if he improves that and a couple of other things, he can become simply extraordinary,” Mancini added. Italy will look to continue their impressive outing to finish top of the group as they travel to play Germany on Tuesday at Borussia-Park Stadium, Mönchengladbach.

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