Italy needed rejuvenation after their dismal performance on the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. However, Roberto Mancini has done a decent job in the team, making it a formidable contender for the Euro 2020 Championship. Initially, football fans did not give the Italians a chance. However, they got their Euro 2020 campaign to a flying start after convincingly beating Turkey in the tournament’s curtain-raiser and got football betting enthusiasts, including those in Asia wagering on Vwin, excited for their win. That win extended their unbeaten run under the former Manchester City manager to 28 matches. They went ahead to see off Wales and Switzerland to book their place in the round of 16.
Their failure to reach the World Cup finals for the first time in 60 years was a dark spot in their illustrious football history. This piece examines how the nation rose from its ashes led by a manager at crossroads, forged a new identity, and rediscovered its winning ways.
Italy and Mancini Needed Each Other
Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup was catastrophic. However, six months after the then-managed Gian Piero Ventura resigned, Mancini stepped up to the challenge. At that time, the 58-year-old tactician was slowly losing his reputation as a top-class manager after unsuccessful managerial jobs. However, Italy and Mancini needed each other!
His appointment as the Italian National Team manager brought a lot of optimism to the Italian soccer fans because he was still respected in Italy as a top manager. He started with a low-key 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia, then went five games without a win. However, since then, the Azzurri have been unstoppable. Mancini has a 74% win ratio which is the highest of any Italian head coach.
Italian football commentators argue that his success boils down to being a charismatic leader that players and fans look up to.
How He Did It
Mancini’s promise to deliver a rebirth to Italian football began by doing away with the Italian’s traditional counter-attacking football that has won them four World Cups. Fans have appreciated the change. Moreover, all the players he selected are brave on the ball and play in teams that play progressive football.
The team’s new 4-3-3 formation has seen them score 53 goals and concede only three in their last 17 games. Mancini has also done well to bring youth and blend them with experienced winners like Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
There is strength in the squad’s depth, as witnessed in their win over Wales, where he rested most of the first eleven players.
Can Italy Win It?
Italy’s credentials as Euro 2020 contenders seems justified when you consider they qualified with three games to spare and won all their qualifying matches. As a result, there is a quiet confidence in the Italian camp that they will win this edition of the Euros.
The players in the squad have what it takes to win it. With the likes of Ciro Immobile leading the line and talented winger Federico Chiesa, you cannot ignore what the Italians can do. Their midfield is also strong, led by Marco Verrati and Jorginho.
If you consider other strong players like Lorenzo Insigne, Andrea Belotti and Domenico Berardi, few teams can match the Italian squad in terms of both talent and depth.