MILAN: From an unfortunate day for Italy in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers to the European Championship, Roberto Mancini has changed the fate of the European football giants.
Success at the Euro 2020 qualifiers puts the four -time World Cup champions as the top choice for the tournament which will open at home on June 11 against Turkey in Rome.
The former Inter Milan and Manchester City manager was appointed in May 2018 after the aging and weaker Italian team missed the World Cup final for the first time since 1958 when they failed in the play-offs against Sweden.
Since then Italy have lost only twice under Mancini, advanced to the finals of the Nations League and won all three of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.
“I feel very proud, because it was not a good situation when I arrived,” said Mancini with Italy currently ranked seventh in the FIFA rankings after once plunging to the worst position of 21.
“I try to make the players feel confident, when everyone says Italy don’t have quality players.”
Mancini’s squad is now 26 games unbeaten since September 2018. Creating a record of 11 consecutive wins that ended in a draw against Bosnia last September.
“My original idea was to aim for success at the 2022 World Cup, but now we can challenge for Euro 2020,” Mancini said.