Roberto Mancini still feels as though Italy are some way shy of Europe’s other big nations ahead of next summer’s European Championship.
The Azzurri ended their qualification campaign by preserving their 100 percent record and 11-game winning run with a 9-1 demolition of Armenia in Palermo.
“I don’t know,” he said at his press conference when asked if those other sides would be worried about the prospect of facing Italy.
“I think they’re stronger because they’re ahead of our work.
“France have won the World Cup, they’re young too. Spain are the same, Belgium are strong as well.
“Maybe they’d rather face someone else instead of Italy because of our past.”
Italy played in front of a good crowd at the Stadio Renzo Barbera, and Mancini was happy with the welcome.
“I’d take up residence here,” he joked.
“The atmosphere is excellent and the stadium is perfect.
“If the pitch is good it’s great and it’s a city where the national team have always done well.”