Roberto Mancini is the toast of Italy right now and the way he has revolutionized Italian football from the World Cup flops to one of the most spectacular sides at present is an example for all to emulate. People like his hairstyle, his brilliant sense of dressing and his cool and composed manner.

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At Wembley, in the semifinal against Spain, the pressure was mounting on Italy, but Mancini never lost his composure. Italy prevailed in the tiebreaker, but the boss believes, still, there is one hurdle to go and he and his boys would not relax until he lifts the trophy at Wembley.

Cricketsccoer is putting together the statements of Mancini from various interviews he gave to FIFA, RAI Sport and Esquire regarding the Euro 2020.

On the semifinal

Credit goes to the lads, but it’s not over yet.

Penalties are a lottery.

There are games where you have to suffer. They can’t all be as smooth as our progress so far. We knew it would be a tough game.

That is why the players and everyone who worked with us over the last three years deserve great credit because it wasn’t easy. Almost no one believed we could do it, and yet we are into the final. We are pleased for Italians everywhere who have been following us for the last few weeks.

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We are delighted to have provided this wonderful evening’s entertainment to the Italian people. We still have one game to go.

We knew it was going to be a very tough match, because, in terms of ball possession, Spain are the best around. They caused us problems, we had to dig in when we needed to, we had to score and create opportunities where we could.

There were some issues because we did not have much possession. But we wanted to reach the final and kept trying until the end. Penalties are a lottery, but I want to take my hat off to Spain, they are a wonderful team.

We have to recover our strength, it was very hard. I knew it would be the hardest game of the tournament.

It is the sixth, it would be it was tiring, but we wanted the final.

On the quarterfinals

We deserved to win. The players produced an excellent performance. We only suffered in the last 10 minutes and that was because we were really tired, we had given a lot. But we could have scored even more goals.

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We’re not setting ourselves limits. We want to do the maximum. There’s still a long way to go.

On the victory against Austria

We brought it home because we deserved it, even though we conceded on a corner and had to let one in sooner or later.

We frankly should’ve scored the two goals a lot earlier and not gone to extra time, and we got tired as it wore on, but we won deservedly.

The players who came off the bench had the right mentality and stepped straight into the match to change the game.

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Those who came on were extraordinary after those who came off had already given everything they had.

We were tired but we knew how to suffer. We knew from the start that it was going to be complicated, but the boys did everything to win.

On the passion about football

I made my Serie A debut with Bologna at the age of sixteen in 1981, and my story with football continues today, forty years later. When I started playing football everything was different, football was different and the world around it was different: what hasn’t changed is the passion – the passion of those who play, those who coach, and those who follow their beloved team.

Not playing in the FIFA World Cup

Given that I started my international career very young, I could potentially have played for Italy in four World Cups and four European Championships.

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And I wish I had! For many reasons, though, I didn’t achieve the success I wanted – except for winning a European title at the Under-16 level. So, yes, I hope that all I missed as a player might be achieved as a coach.

Coaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic

There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult challenge individually, albeit amid a very tough time for people everywhere. No one had ever experienced this kind of thing before, and you can only hope that they will never experience them again in the future.

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Families lost loved ones, people were deprived of their freedom. For everyone, it was the worst thing that could have happened. Those of us involved in sport were no different, and we simply had to adapt to what was going on around us.

The praise of Tite

Tite is a great coach and he comes from the most inspired, creative nation in the football world – a country where you may be considered disrespectful if you don’t adopt an offensive style. We are very glad to read of Italy being singled out in this way.

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At the same time though, it’s worth bearing in mind that our nation’s past successes, winning four World Cups and one European Championship, were achieved by adopting a pretty defensive approach. Each nation has its own style of play and that defensive quality in Italy still makes the difference even today. To become a good team, you need to establish the perfect balance between attack and defensive knowledge.

On making Italy adventurous

I took the helm in a very difficult moment, but we wanted to do something really different with respect to what had been done previously. Then we brought in lots of young, talented players we considered well suited to adopting a different style of playing – more offensive than in the past. In every team I coached before, I’ve always tried to bring that kind of approach. Sometimes you succeed in that, sometimes you don’t. But in this case, it was the right time to give our fans an attractive national team to watch and enjoy.

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It’s true there were moments in the past when Italian football had more of these masterful, world-class players. It’s difficult to say why those huge talents are missing nowadays. At the same time, a new generation of excellent players is rising in Italy, and these youngers are skilled enough to perform on the international stage and one day become those kinds of global stars. It’s just a matter of time. Our hope is to guide them to victory and help them realize their aims.

The traumatic exit from the World Cup Qualifiers

It wasn’t easy for anyone, myself included, as I am in my fifties and have always seen my national team compete at the World Cup. But the unexpected is the real, fascinating essence of sport, even if we suffered for it in this case. Our hope is that it won’t happen again and, to ensure that it doesn’t, we need to work hard to perform well because we’re playing in an era in which many national sides have become competitive.

On style

Style is something innate, it’s either something you have or you don’t. You can also be stylish wearing a polo and a pair of shorts. Style is not everything – not on the pitch, not outside of it – but style is beauty, and both beauty and style are personal statements; an expression of who we are. Style can only express itself in freedom.

When you are a player, style is difficult. You follow the stylist of the moment and maybe you need more time to improve your style.

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I find, the classic elegance of the peacoat for me is an irreplaceable, versatile, perfect garment; the piece that everyone in my opinion should have – A garment of the seafaring tradition adapted to our everyday life.


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