Roberto Mancini has made historical past as Italy supervisor earlier than a ball is kicked in Sunday’s Euro 2020 remaining.
Over the final three years, the 56-year-old has overseen a nationwide document 33-game unbeaten run, surpassing Vittorio Pozzo’s double World Cup-winning aspect of the Nineteen Thirties and Marcello Lippi’s 2006 world champions alongside the method.
But Mancini has up to now refused to take credit score for the achievement. “Pozzo won trophies, which is more important,” he stated.
He is just not flawed, however Mancini is now one step away from becoming a member of Pozzo and Lippi in the illustrious pantheon of Italian teaching greats by main Italy to their first European Championship since 1968.
It can be a exceptional achievement, contemplating the state the nationwide staff was in when Mancini discovered them.
He took the job in May 2018 after lifting trophies throughout the continent at membership degree with league titles at Inter Milan and Manchester City and home cups at City, Lazio, Fiorentina and Galatasaray.
But the nationwide staff job posed a frightening job after their humiliating failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
That nationwide shame resulted in the departures of coach Gian Piero Ventura and federation head Carlo Tavecchio, to not point out public fury and intense debate about the worrying state of a once-great soccer nation.
RUIN TO REVIVAL
Slowly however absolutely, Mancini put the shattered items again collectively and constructed a vibrant new Italian aspect.
“Ideas like his have never been seen before with the national team,” former Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso stated just lately.
Those concepts have been to implement a optimistic, proactive id that leaned on the technical proficiency of Italy’s gamers, and to convey by way of the youthful era.
Results weren’t speedy; of their first six video games, Mancini’s Italy received as soon as – a pleasant in opposition to Saudi Arabia.
But the ideas he put in place have been nearly instantly obvious, and the 1-0 UEFA Nations League defeat his aspect suffered in Sept. 2018 proved to be their final.
There have been nonetheless some doubts about how nicely Mancini’s aspect would possibly fare at a serious event with a comparatively inexperienced squad and solely seven survivors from Euro 2016.
But all through the event, Italy have demonstrated a capability to proceed enjoying their very own method regardless of accidents or personnel modifications.
SMILES ALL ROUND
Along the method, Mancini has sought to take the strain off his gamers to get the greatest out of them.
“I think after everything we have gone through, now is the time to try and put a smile back on faces,” Mancini stated earlier than the opening recreation in opposition to Turkey.
“That will be our aim over the next month, we want people to enjoy themselves and have fun.”
Mission full. No matter what occurs in Wembley on Sunday, Italy has fallen in love with Mancini’s staff, who’ve proven a capability to dazzle and entertain one second, however grit their tooth and battle the subsequent.
In a staff with no established star, Mancini has taken on that position. Corriere della Sera referred to as him “Captain Mancini”, whereas Corriere dello Sport went for “Mister Italia”.
“Mancini is doing extraordinary work, without him this team would not play this way,” stated legendary former Italy supervisor Arrigo Sacchi.
“In a short time he has managed to introduce a modern style of football, I hope that it sets all the Italian coaches down the same path.”
Mancini’s aspect has received over impartial admirers on their highway to the remaining, smashing drained and dated stereotypes about uninteresting, defensive Italian soccer alongside the method.
With 9 gamers aged 24 or beneath in the squad and a number of other of them beginning often, there’s additionally a perception that that is the begin of one thing particular and never a flash in the pan success.
Mancini has revived the nationwide staff, put smiles again on faces, and altered perceptions of Italian soccer.
His work is already exceptional, however a trophy would be certain that his legacy lasts without end.