Thursday, May 26, 2022

UEFA World Cup qualification: Italy coach Roberto Mancini will likely stay despite shock North Macedonia loss

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After last Thursday’s defeat against North Macedonia it seemed that Italy’s coach Roberto Mancini was one step away from leaving his position after failing to qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. It was a major failure even if it arrived only nine months after Italy’s historic win at UEFA Euro 2020. A few days were needed to reflect and think but Italy’s FA president Gabriele Gravina insisted from the first moments that Mancini was the right person to continue with Italy and despite the failure a change wasn’t the right solution. Defender Leonardo Bonucci had the same idea, and said on Monday that “what the coach has given us in these three years is something unique. He has created an empathy that is rare to see in the national team. For us continuing with the coach is just the logical thing to do. His ideas, his human value are unquestionable. The result of a one-off match can change opinions, but those who live this every day only want to continue this path.””

Mancini will take some more time to decide his future but it looks increasingly likely that he will want to to keep the job and fulfill his four year agreement until 2026. Italy’s coach spoke on Monday, the day before his team’s consolation match against Turkey. “We need to start again. I talked to the president, we agree in all the points we discussed. We’ll have time to think what and where we need to improve. I still feel young and I wanted to win a European Championship and a World Cup with Italy, we’ll have to wait for the second a little bit. I like this job and I know that with these players we can do again something important for our country”.

After Tuesday’s clash against Turkey, Italy won’t play again until the beginning of June when they will face Argentina at Wembley for the first match between the champions of Europe and South America as the winner of the UEFA Euro 2020 and the Copa America 2021 square off. It’s now very likely that Roberto Mancini will seat on that bench, the same one where he witnessed his team winning the Euros last July. 

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