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Mancini Calls Is It A Perfect Year For The Azzurri

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Roberto Mancini believes 2019 was “a perfect year” for Italy and assures they will “play to win” Euro 2020 next summer.

The 55-year-old guided the Azzurri to maximum points from their 10 European qualifiers – an achievement he is understandably proud of.

However, he also stressed that they needed “to do more” if they were to bring back “the love and magical nights from the past”.

“It was a perfect year, you could say that,” Mancini said during the Gazzetta Sports Awards. “But I always hope the best is yet to come.

“We couldn’t do more than that. We hope to be back here in a year to celebrate something important.

“Much has been done and it’s the most beautiful thing this year, but we need to do more to get the love and magical nights from the past.

“The boys believed in a different project to the usual ones: what I got from the lads off the field didn’t make me less happy than what we did on the pitch.”

Italy will face Switzerland, Wales and Turkey in the group stage of Euro 2020, and the CT made it clear his side were in it to win it.

“Today we don’t have a [Francesco] Totti or a [Alessandro] Del Piero, but we have a team made up of some technically good players, who have a good relationship. That’s the most important thing.

“Italy will play to win the tournament, even if we don’t start off as favourites. There are nations who are better prepared than us. But from now until June, we have time to improve.

“Our group is not as simple as people say and there will be a lot of pressure on us, playing three times at the Olimpico.”