Mancini Sure About Italy World Cup Chances, Weigh Newcomers

Despite having to go through the playoffs, Roberto Mancini is confident Italy will make it to the World Cup and maybe even win it. “I do not focus too much on the upcoming clashes nowadays. Rather, I look back at the opportunities we wasted. We did not prevail in matches where we dominated. Everything worked out well for us in the Euro, and that could not continue.”

The national team gaffer gave an interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport: “A little dip and some inattention are normal after winning a trophy. It did not happen only to us. Moreover, we always have trouble at the beginning of the season.”

Mancini is open to adding pieces to the regular Italy squad: “Nicolò Zaniolo can give a lot to Roma and to us. It depends on his physical shape and consistency. Gianluca Scamacca has everything in place to become a complete striker. He can score in every fashion. I talked to him at length in Coverciano and told him he has tremendous potential. He is young and can still grow a lot. We did not ask Joao Pedro to get the citizenship, as he married a local. It is fair to consider him given his skills, but the call-up must be earned through strong performances. It is undeniable that the Serie A pool shrunk in recent years.”

The manager thinks Jorginho should have won the Ballon d’Or: “I am strongly convinced he deserved it. He is key for us and a very important player overall. I fondly recall the PK against Spain, not those he missed.”

Mancini was asked whether he would stay on the bench should Italy miss out on the World Cup: “I am not thinking about such scenario, on the contrary I believe we will win in Qatar.”