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Is Mancini the right man for the Azzurri?

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By Football Italiano

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Italy will only be interested onlookers this summer as the World Cup plays out without them for the first time in 60 years. It is a historic low point in the history of the Azzurri, but the appointment of Roberto Mancini this month offers hope and optimism for the future as the former striker looks to bring his club pedigree to international level.

Mancini is eager to impress and stated that his new role was a “dream” job. The 53-year-old is tasked with overhauling a squad that failed to fulfil their potential during Giampiero Ventura’s disastrous reign, which culminated in the 1-0 play-off defeat to Sweden in late 2017. There has been a degree of soul searching since then and the Italian FA was determined to appoint a proven winner to the top job.

Mancini fits the bill. He is still revered at Manchester City, where he led the club to their first Premier League title and assembled a hugely talented team capable of performing at the highest level in Europe. Mancini is also no stranger to success in Italy. He won the Coppa Italia with Fiorentina in 2001 and Lazio in 2004 before Inter Milan came calling.

Mancini restored Inter’s reputation as one of the country’s most successful teams. The club won their first domestic trophy for 15 years when they defeated Roma 3-0 in the Coppa Italia, and Mancini then guided them to three successive Serie A titles between 2006 and 2006. Following his stint in England, the former Sampdoria player also won the Turkish Cup with Galatasaray.

Mancini certainly has the credentials to succeed with Italy, but he is faced with more upheaval than perhaps any boss during the last 20 years due to the loss of several long-time leaders and key players. Captain Gianluigi Buffon has stepped away from the national side, and Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini all look set to do likewise. This means that Mancini will have to rebuild the backbone of the entire team in the coming months.

Qualification for Euro 2020 will be the short-term target for Mancini, and he is likely to turn to youth to bring in a new era for the Azzurri. Mancini also has form in this regard as he brought through several talented young players during his time at Man City. A return to international football for Mario Balotelli could also be on the cards after Mancini recently said that he was eager to speak to the in-form Nice striker.

Despite their recent woes, Italy will remain one of the favourites to win big matches and tournaments with sports betting experts due to their impressive record in the World Cup and European Championships. For Mancini, attention will now turn to the summer friendlies with Saudi Arabia, France and the Netherlands. Euro 2020 qualification doesn’t begin until March 2019, so Mancini will have more time than usual to get his team prepared for competitive matches.

Overall, Mancini’s appointment appears to a positive step for the Azzurri and should enable them to banish their recent World Cup woes and get back on the road to success.

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