Italian national team coach Roberto Mancini has given a long interview to L’Equipe magazine, also talking about the play-offs that Azzurri will face in March to enter the 2022 World Cup.
The reigning European champions will face Macedonia in the semifinals in Palermo and then in the final, if successful, with Portugal in Lisbon or Turkey in Istanbul:
“We have had many opportunities to qualify before, only the details that have turned us in favor before have turned against us. We dominated two games with Switzerland but did not win either. Now we have to roll up our sleeves and think about the future. We know we have the qualities to win and we will succeed ‘
In the event of a play-off loss, Italy would lose the World Cup for the second time in a row.
Mancini spoke about comparisons with 2018:
“I told the boys that there are times when things go wrong and others when things go well: it’s part of the sport. In the national team, if you do not go to a World Cup, we have to wait four years, which in a footballer’s career is a long time. Today we are again in a complicated situation, we have to win two matches to go to Qatar, however we are an excellent team, which has just won the European Championship. This is the demonstration that in football, even when it deserves it, it sometimes does not win. We deserved the qualification for a long time and on the contrary we are in a very difficult situation. “But in times of trouble you have to be strong.”