Roberto Mancini says France, Portugal and Belgium should be considered as favourites for Euro 2020 over his Italian side despite their consecutive 3-0 wins
Roberto Mancini has said France, Portugal and Belgium should be considered as favourites for Euro 2020 ahead of his Italy side.
Mancini’s comments came after Italy landed a place in the knockout stages by recording their second consecutive 3-0 win against Switzerland on Wednesday.
The manner in which they won has raised hopes among Italy supporters that they could go all the way this summer. However, Mancini has warned that fans should not to get ahead of themselves.
Roberto Mancini has said France, Portugal and Belgium should be considered as favourites
He says those teams must be given respect as ‘one of those are world champions, another are European champions and the other are the number one ranked side in the world’
Speaking after Italy’s game on Wednesday night, Mancini said: ‘In the European Championship there’s France, Portugal and Belgium – one of those are world champions, another are European champions and the other are the number one ranked side in the world.
‘These are teams who have been built over a number of years and it’s only natural they are further along than us but everything can happen in football, you shouldn’t take anything for granted.
Mancini’s comments came after Italy earned a place in the tournament knockout stages
Mancini’s side recorded their second consecutive 3-0 win against Switzerland on Wednesday
‘Every match is difficult, you always have to go out there and play. I’ve been fortunate in that I have had some very good players who like playing the game, they enjoy being out there and like taking risks.
‘The players are the ones who deserve the credit. I try to explain my thought process and there is still a long way to go.’
Italy’s performance against Switzerland followed an equally dominant dismantling of Turkey in the tournament’s opening game last Friday.
It was Manuel Locatelli – who scored either side of the break – and Ciro Immobile – who added a late third – that guided Italy to their second victory in the tournament.
Italy face Wales in their third and final Euro 2020 Group A game on Sunday June 20
The result marks Italy’s record of 29 games in all competitions – registering their last lost in a UEFA Nations League game against Portugal in 2018.
Despite warning ‘every match is difficult’, Mancini will be looking to become the first team since Germany in Euro 2012 to record three group-stage wins.
Italy face Wales in their third and final Group A game on Sunday June 20.