Mancini: ‘Italy technique against England physicality’

Roberto Mancini is surprisingly relaxed ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 Final and hopes Italy’s ‘technique can win out’ against England’s physicality. ‘We want to enjoy ourselves for 90 more minutes.’

The Final kicks off at Wembley Stadium on Sunday at 20.00 UK time.

“I do not feel agitated. I might feel different tomorrow…” smiled the coach in his press conference.

“We aim to entertain, certainly, but I also hope we can be substantial. It has not been easy, we did well to get here and there’s one more push before we can all go on vacation.”

The Azzurri struggled against Spain in the semi-final, winning only on penalties, and for the first time allowed the opposition to dominate possession.

“We had wanted to play our style of football against Spain too, they just did well to limit us. Our identity brought us this far, we have no intention of changing now.

“England are physically stronger than us all over the park, not just in midfield, but football is played with the ball to feet, so we hope technique can win out.”

The former Manchester City manager was asked if England can consider themselves a football nation on the same level as Italy, considering this is their first Final in 55 years.

“England have always had good teams, they’ve been unlucky over the years. It’s going to be a wonderful game of football in a packed stadium and that is marvellous for anyone who loves the sport. We know their qualities and will see what happens. You don’t reach the Final without a great team.”

The tactician was depicted as Braveheart hero William Wallace on the front page of a Scottish newspaper, standing up against the English invasion.

“It was funny. We’ve got to focus only on our own football and hopefully hear our fans celebrate at the end. It is ultimately just a football match, after all.

“What Italy must do is stay calm. It’s difficult, for many reasons, but we must be concentrated on our football and understand it’s the final hurdle. We want to enjoy ourselves for 90 more minutes.”

Mancini was one of the greatest individual talents in Italian football, but barely featured in the Azzurri jersey.

“This is among the most important moments of my career. I played with the Nazionale at many levels, we didn’t win the European Under-21 Championship or the World Cup when we deserved to. We represent Italy and I hope tomorrow to gain that satisfaction as a coach that I was unable to enjoy as a player, despite being in some very strong Azzurri teams.”