Italy Coach Mancini on Lazio’s Immobile: “The Most Criticised Player Often Decides the Game”

By Apollo Heyes -

Italy coach Roberto Mancini looked ahead to tomorrow’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Luis Enrique’s Spain.

Speaking to gathered reporters in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi) earlier today, the 56-year-old Italian coach first highlighted the great relationships present in the Azzurri environment.

When there is a good relationship between everyone, when there are optimal conditions, the relationship that has been created is excellent.

We’ll have to play a great game tomorrow to stay here until the final.

He touched on any pre-match tensions.

I feel it too when the game is coming up, but first you have to be cool and make as few mistakes as possible. That’s the beauty of these games.

The former Manchester City and Inter coach was asked if he felt like they were already in the finals.

I hope you get it right for once… It won’t be so easy, we will have to play a great game, Spain is a great team. We’re in the semi-finals, it’s hard to find easy games.

It will be a good game, they have talented players, we also have talented players, in the end it will be a good game.

Mancini spoke about the various opponents that Italy has faced in their Euro 2020 run so far.

It will be difficult, even if Spain is different from Belgium. It won’t be a match like that, but with many difficulties.

With Austria it was difficult because it was the first knockout game but also because of their aggressiveness.

Tomorrow it will be the same but it will be difficult, Spain has been extraordinary for years even if now there has been a change and they are younger.

They have a good coach and very good players. In the last twenty years they have dominated football in the world, they won’t change now.

He touched on the strengths of Spain coach Luis Enrique.

Luis Enrique is a great coach because of what he has shown. De Rossi hasn’t told us great things, the coach will have changed his way of coaching, he will be different.

If us and Spain got here it’s with merit, it’s an even match.

Luis Enrique is a very good coach, he won the Champions League with Barcelona but not only. He also worked well at Roma.

If a coach can get his teams to play well, apart from winning, it’s important and shows his ability.

The Azzurri coach commented on his relationship with Gianluca Vialli.

We grew up together, there is a relationship that goes beyond friendship.

It’s like having a brother here, it happens with everyone who played in that Sampdoria, the relationship is great between us and the players. Luca is also a bit old, we like to listen to him when he talks.

He discussed the situation involving the fans for the match against Spain in Wembley.

It’s unfair that there are no fans from Italy and Spain. But it’s clear that it’s better to play in front of a crowd than in front of a few people, that’s the beauty of sport.

But I think it’s unfair that there aren’t half Italian and half Spanish fans.

Mancini talked about Lazio star Ciro Immobile, who has been the focus of media attention recently following Italy’s win over Belgium.

Immobile is the Golden Boot holder, he is among those who have scored the most in recent years.

And in a World Cup or in a European Championship, the most criticised player often decides the game and the tournament.

He provided updates on any injuries in the squad.

Belotti had taken a knock against Belgium, we didn’t risk him yesterday.

Rafael in training but they’ll be fine for tomorrow.

The Azzurri coach spoke about Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

They’ve been saying for many years that Chiellini and Bonucci are the best but they want to prove it every time.

Will he be able to play three games in a row? I hope so, if he doesn’t, Acerbi and Bastoni are in great form.

He discussed the famous Spanish playing style of Tiki Taka.

It’s Spanish football, invented by them, which has brought them extraordinary success and they continue to do it well.

Ours will be slightly different, we are Italian and we can’t suddenly become Spanish. We will try to play our game.

Finally, Mancini spoke about Italy men’s basketball win over Serbia to qualify for this summer’s Olympics.

We are all fans, we saw it and we cheered with them. They were extraordinary, it’s not easy to win in the Serbs’ house. It was a memorable match and it will be for many years.

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Tags Azzurri Biancocelesti EURO 2020 Italy Lazio Mancini Roberto Mancini Serie A