Mon 20 March 2023 | 20:42

Mancini deems Italy-England fixture a classic

Ahead of their match in Naples, Italy's head coach Roberto Mancini believes England have turned into become a "great" side.

Roberto Mancini thinks the enmity between Italy and


has evolved into a "classic" as they get ready to face off in their first Euro 2024 qualifying match on Thursday.

Gareth Southgate's team was defeated by the


on penalties in the 2021 European Championship final at Wembley.

Following a scoreless stalemate between Italy and the Three Lions in the Nations League in June of last year, Mancini's team won their final match 1-0 three months later thanks to a strike from Giacomo Raspadori.

In a Group C match this week at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, England will have another opportunity to exact some retribution, and Mancini anticipates a fierce test in Naples.

He said:

"For me, it's become a classic. England and Italy seem to meet a lot, a bit like Italy and Germany in the past.

"For a long time now they've become a fantastic team, full of talented players, with strength and technique. It'll be a tough game just like all the others have been. 

"They have more choice than us for many reasons, but in Naples we want to play a good match, play well and start these qualifiers well."

Italy's head coach Mancini claims that his team is in the midst of a reconstruction after they were unable to make it to the World Cup in Qatar last year. 

"Unfortunately there was the difficult interlude of the World Cup, but apart from a few games, the team has always done well,"

Mancini continued.

"We arrived twice in the Nations League finals [they face Spain in a semi-final in June], this means that there is value [in the team]. We have to rebuild something important because to win there must be solid foundations. There have been some good things in the Nations League."

Gianluca Vialli, the leader of Italy's delegation when they won the rescheduled Euro 2020 two years ago, passed away in January at the age of 58. Mancini wants his players to make him happy.



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source: SportMob

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