Mon 02 January 2023 | 12:04

Italy manager Roberto Mancini reveals his wishes for 2023

Italy manager Roberto Mancini hopes they win the Nations League in 2023 after a difficult 12 months.


failed to qualify for the

2022 World Cup

 after a shock defeat to North Macedonia in the play-off match in March.


continued his job as Italy's coach and guided them to the Nations League finals in the summer of 2023.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Mancini admitted that 2022 was a difficult and sad year for him.

“A sad 2022 is gone, very sad for me: the death of Sinisa, Gianluca’s illness. These are the things that weigh on the heart, those for which you cannot do anything.

“After a sports disappointment, however, you can always make up for it.”

Mancini talked about the Serie A title race and Napoli’s title chances.

“This is too difficult a prediction, and after 50 days of rest even more so. But Napoli has a good chance, eight points ahead and a proven group that has also added two-three strong players.

“The pursuers are all close to each other and all in time to catch Napoli. They have to run hard and fast, though.”

Mancini also gave his thoughts on Milan’s situation this season.

“De Ketelaere is very strong. But he is young, so he needs time, and he is a Belgian, he needs to settle in. Think of the first De Bruyne at Chelsea, he looked like he couldn’t play ball.

“False nine? He looks more like an attacking mezzala to me. Giroud plays well and makes the team play well, if he were to have a problem, it would not be easy. Although the best Origi can replace him.”

The Former Inter manager spoke about Romelu Lukaku’s return to Inter last summer.

“He has been missed a lot, Inter can have a great advantage or miss him if he doesn’t come back like he was two years ago. First of all, physically.

“Dzeko-Lukaku? Lukaku varies, Dzeko moves a lot, but the other’s possible partnership with Lautaro seem more functional to me.”

The Former Manchester City manager also discussed Juventus’ current position.

“I’ve seen them play sometimes well and sometimes less. But it has had a lot of injuries that, good for us, have given space to young players who have a future in the national team. Di Maria and Chiesa if they are well, it’s hard not to play them.

“But Allegri now knows what Fagioli, Miretti, even Kean can give him, fresh forces, and they have shown him.

“Team problems? The Juve management has always protected the team well.”

Mancini was then asked about Napoli’s forward Giacomo Raspadori.

“He has improved even so, it was seen against England and Hungary, playing not always but at high levels, to win, his mentality has changed.

“Mezzala? I’ve always thought about it, because he is an attacking player, but he runs a lot and knows where and how to run.”

Italy’s manager said he hopes Chiesa and Zaniolo return to their best after serious injuries and they win the Nations League in 2023.

“May it bring nothing but take nothing away from anyone anymore, speaking of sadness. If anything, let it give back Chiesa and Zaniolo, for it to be their year, after Euro 2020 I practically didn’t have them, with them and the full squad we can really start to do well again.

“And maybe one thing 2023 will bring us, the Nations League in June. it’s up to us, the chances are there. And it wouldn’t be bad…”

Mancini also revealed which players impressed him during his training camp in December.

“Cittadini, who now needs to play in Serie A, Faticanti, Fazzini and Oristanio of Volendam, in June he was behind, in six months playing as a starter in the Netherlands he has improved so much.

“But they all made a good impression on me, even those from Serie B.”

source: SportMob

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