Roberto Mancini trusts the Italy side that was victorious at UEFA EURO 2020 will ‘remain in the history books’ and can be compared to the 2006 World Cup-winning team.
The Azzurri had only lifted the European Championship trophy once before, in 1968, but beat England on penalties in the Final at Wembley Stadium after pushing past Austria, Belgium and Spain in the knockout rounds.
“It is a wonderful sensation and I am happy for all the Italians around the world, because we created something extraordinary,” Mancini told German site Sport1.de.
“This Italy will remain in the history books. I can only tip my hat to my players. It all happened so quickly, it passed in front of me like a film. We hadn’t prepared anything, but got back to Rome and were greeted by so many people in the streets.
“I think people will continue celebrating this throughout the summer and that’s wonderful.”
This is the first Italy trophy since Marcello Lippi took his men to the 2006 World Cup, which was staged in Germany.
“I think there can be comparisons between the two tournaments, because you need to do great things to win titles and these Italy lads certainly did,” continued Mancini.
When the CT took over, the Nazionale had just failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup under Giampiero Ventura, probably the lowest point for Italian football since 1966.
“We started out three years ago and developed this great team spirit that was clear at the Euros. They gave their all, that’s why we did it in the end.
“I immediately realised how much they wanted to make up for that World Cup setback and they were ready to sacrifice themselves for the country. We gave an opportunity to players who three years ago weren’t very well known abroad, and it went well.”
The Final at Wembley Stadium also meant a great deal to Mancini and his team manager Gianluca Vialli, because it was the venue for the 1992 European Cup Final, which their Sampdoria lost in extra time to Barcelona.
“I remember that night very well, but now the wounds feel like they are healing better,” smiled Mancio.