Italy coach Roberto Mancini pointed to the emerging talent within his squad as evidence that the national team has high potential, after they swept Greece aside 3-0 in Athens on Saturday.
First half goals from Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Bonucci gave the visitors a comfortable victory in their Euro 2020 qualifier, to move the Azzurri three points clear at the top of Group J after a perfect start to their campaign.
Reflecting on a dominant performance from his midfield trio of Barella, Marco Verratti and Chelsea’s Jorginho, former Manchester City coach Mancini insisted that the future was bright for the Azzurri.
“Barella and [Federico] Chiesa were good, as was Jorginho,” Mancini declared in his post match press conference at the Olympic Stadium. “He was strong at Napoli, but perhaps moving to the Premier League gave him more experience in a competition where the game moves faster and referees are more lenient.
“There are so many players with huge potential in this team, like Barella, Chiesa, [Federico] Bernardeschi, [Stefano] Sensi, [Bryan] Cristante, [Moise] Kean. My hope is that this European Championship campaign will be the start of them realising their talents.”
Italy were in complete control and saw almost 65% of possession in Athens, with Mancini putting the manner of victory down to a balanced team.
“We did not suffer much because we kept our balance, with our midfielders retaining possession well and winning the ball high up the pitch,” Mancini declared.
“Our attackers looked to press forward so we can launch quick attacks. Greece looked to dribble with the ball and they couldn’t find a way through our set up.”
The Azzurri face Bosnia & Herzegovina in Turin on Tuesday and will look to consolidate their position at the top of the group with victory.