Ciro Immobile confirmed that he wanted to leave the Italy squad before eventually being convinced to stay by coach Roberto Mancini.
The 32-year-old Italian striker has never managed to replicate his club form with the Azzurri, only scoring 15 goals across 55 caps, and things began to boil over following the team’s success at Euro 2020. Immobile’s last goal for Italy came in their group stage win over Switzerland and fans often blamed the Lazio star for the team’s struggles in front of goal.
Speaking to RadioRai (via LazioNews24), Immobile confirmed his previous desire to leave the Azzurri squad but noted how Mancini pushed him to reconsider.
Yes, I wanted to leave. When you have certain disappointments, you think a thousand things. But then, with a clear head, I spoke to Mancini and it seemed to me that he still needed me, for now and for the future.
There is still a need for us veterans, also to accompany the renewal with the young, for the rebirth of Italy. As the coach said, now begins our comeback for the next European Championship and the next World Cup.
Immobile infamously only scored five goals in Italy’s World Cup qualification run in 2017 and he failed to net in their two play-off games against Sweden, which saw them miss their first World Cup in decades.
Injuries limited his appearances in their recent World Cup qualification failure, although he did fail to score across his three appearances there.