Italy Boss Mancini Wary of World Cup Vacancy: “We Complicated Things”

The race for a spot at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is heating up and coach Roberto Mancini is aware of the problems that will arrive when his Italy side take on minnows North Macedonia and Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal in play-off stages. The Azzurri failed to secure an automatic qualification berth by missing out on their chance to top World Cup qualifiers Group C by two points behind leaders Switzerland

While at a project event for a new stadium in Florence, Mancini took the chance to share his thoughts on the crucial two-match play-off qualification run at the end of March, which comes nearing the end of the domestic season in Italy.

“We have complicated things by ourselves, we know that we have the quality to make it to the World Cup. At this moment of the season the physical condition of the players are important. They will not be at 100% and this must be evaluated,” he said. (via TuttoNapoli)

The Azzurri first face North Macedonia, the winner of which will face either Portugal or Turkey in the play-off ‘final’, in order to qualify for the showdown event at the end of the year.

Speaking of which, he said: “The first game will perhaps be even more difficult. We will play in Palermo with the public close, and I think it will be fine. I trust the guys, I am optimistic but I know it will be ten hard and difficult days. We would have liked to have avoided getting this far.”

The World Cup in Qatar is sure to be without either Italy or Portugal, and the clash between the current and former European championship title holders is sure to be a nail-biting event. However, Italy will need to eliminate dark horses North Macedonia first.