Home Sport Roberto Mancini's 'Young Italy' are serious contenders for the 2020 Euros

Roberto Mancini's 'Young Italy' are serious contenders for the 2020 Euros


A 21-game unbeaten run and a better record than double World Cup winning manager Vittorio Pozzo… Roberto Mancini’s ‘Young Italy’ are serious contenders for the 2020 Euros

  • Roberto Mancini has turned Italy into a force to be feared once again
  • His side have won their last 11 games and are unbeaten in the last 21 
  • The manager has given 32 players their debut in the last two years 
  • Mancini has given young players a chance while also keeping experience 

Gianluca Vialli’s kiss to the ball photographed in all national and international media during the match against Poland is the essence of the love for Italian football that Roberto Mancini and his staff are transmitting to his young boys.

Italy are now unbeaten in 21 games, qualified for the Euros with a perfect record and are in pole position to finish top of their UEFA Nations League group.

According to results, Mancini is the best Italian manager of the last 50 years. His youthful side, mixed with just the right amount of experience are increasing the expectations heading into next summer.

Sportsmail takes a look at how the coach has turned Italy into a force to fear once more… 

Roberto Mancini guided his Italy side to next summer's Euros with a perfect qualifying record

Roberto Mancini guided his Italy side to next summer’s Euros with a perfect qualifying record

Italy are unbeaten in 21 games and Mancini broke the record for most consecutive wins (11)

Italy are unbeaten in 21 games and Mancini broke the record for most consecutive wins (11)

Mancini’s ‘Young Italy’ 

When Mancini inherited the Italian national team from Luigi Di Biagio, he chose to turn to the young players of every Serie A and B club, without forgetting the players abroad.

The ‘Young Italy’, as the Italian politician Giovanni Giolitti liked to define the peninsula, has its best chance of winning the European Championship for the first time since 1968.

Mancini favours a formation of 4-3-3 but his secret is the great ability to get the best out of his players.

He has now won 11 consecutive matches, overtaking the record set by two-time World Cup winning manager Vittorio Pozzo, and has a win percentage of 71 – which makes him the best coach of the last 50 years.

His side also average 2.41 goals per game which is a record for all post-war managers while his side are unbeaten at home and have not lost a game for more than two years. 

The manager has given young players like Nicolo Barella (left) an opportunity to prosper

The manager has given young players like Nicolo Barella (left) an opportunity to prosper

 A mixture of youth and experience

In his two years in charge, Mancini has played 62 different players, with 32 making their debuts under him. 

Matteo Politano, now at Napoli, made his debut in May 2018 to David Calabria of AC Milan, who made his first appearance in the 4-0 victory over Estonia this month. The other debutants from that game included Pietro Pellegri, Luca Pellegrini, Alessandro Bastoni and Matteo Pessina.

The highly rated Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali was given his debut in 2019. 

But Mancini has also makes room for the experienced players such as 33-year-old Francesco Caputo, who did not make his debut until October this year. 

There is a mixture of youth and experience with 32 players making their debuts under Mancini

There is a mixture of youth and experience with 32 players making their debuts under Mancini

The emergence of Nicolo Barella 

One of the breakthrough stars of the Mancini era has been Nicolo Barella. The Inter Milan midfielder is the spine of the team.

With his running and battling, his sense of position and competitive ‘nastiness’, he has become the most ‘English ‘footballer among all the Italian midfielders.

He has an aggressive game, knows attack and defence and is more dynamic than Marco Verratti. Of all the midfielders, he is irreplaceable.   

Barella has become a irreplaceable part of the international team with his competitiveness

Barella has become a irreplaceable part of the international team with his competitiveness 

Club outcasts prospering

Players that have been left out in the cold by their club managers are managing to find form at international level.

The most curious case is perhaps that of Federico Bernardeschi. The winger has struggled for game time at Juventus, under both Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo, but continues to be an important player for his country.

He has scored important international goals and has repeatedly shown he deserves more trust from his club. 

With Mancini’s contribution, Pirlo will try to reintegrate the 26-year-old into the Juve side. 

Mancini has got the best from those that are outcasts at their clubs like Federico Bernardeschi

Mancini has got the best from those that are outcasts at their clubs like Federico Bernardeschi

Importance of players abroad

Vincenzo Grifo has not played a minute of Serie A football but has carved a successful career in the Bundesliga.

His performances in Germany put him into contention for a place in the Italy team but he was overlooked by previous managers.

However, Mancini has brought the Freiburg midfielder into the fold, showing there are opportunities for all players, regardless of the league you play in. 

The manager has given opportunities to players not playing in Serie A including Vincenzo Grifo

The manager has given opportunities to players not playing in Serie A including Vincenzo Grifo

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