Italy coach Roberto Mancini is optimistic about Italy’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup despite problems from some of his players. The Euro 2020 champions were forced to go through the play-offs to secure a ticket to Qatar after failing to top the qualifying group.
The Azzurri–the Italian nickname–must pass two more games to ensure a place in Qatar this year. They will face North Macedonia in the semi-finals of the play-offs at the Renzo Barbera Stadium on Friday (25/3) WIB and must beat the winner between Turkey or Portugal.
This opportunity is crucial for Italy. They don’t want to fail to advance to the World Cup finals like in 2018 in Russia after being eliminated by Sweden in the play-offs.
Some Italian players have problems at club level who are not at their best, such as Lorenzo Insigne, Nicolo Barella, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Donnarrumma. It is feared that their performance in the national team will also be disrupted.
Even so, Mancini firmly said there was no problem whatsoever. He is confident in the ability of his squad.
“I’m not worried. In the national team, they always play well. It is certain that in the middle of the season there will be times when you are not at 100%,” said Mancini.
“Of course, there are ups and downs during a season. Chiellini feels quite good and it’s good he played a little bit (against Salernitana). Maybe, he won’t play two games, but we will talk and decide together,” he explained.
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Regarding Donnarumma’s condition at PSG, who was reportedly involved in a conflict with his teammates due to the failure in the Champions League, Mancini remains optimistic about the condition of his foster children.
“Obviously not (worried), it’s better for him to be with us than to be an opponent. I’m optimistic, because I have players who have won Euro 2020,” said Mancini.
“We have to think about what we have achieved to feel more confident. Our team is solid and quality,” he continued.
Italian legend, Fabio Cannavaro, emphasized that the Azzurri team must qualify for the 2022 World Cup. He emphasized that the bitter experience of 2018 should not be repeated this year.
“Between us and the qualification to qualify for Qatar there may be Portugal, but Turkey will not be easy either,” said Cannavaro.
“Even before that, we had to beat (North) Macedonia. We missed the chance in Rome against Switzerland (in the group stage) it is inconceivable if we fail to qualify for the World Cup. This will be a disaster for everyone. Mancini will find a way for us to qualify,” he said.