Mancini: “The National Team is a symbol of a country that never gives up”Meanwhile, speaking on TG Sport on Rai2, President Gravina looked confidently towards the future: “Italy can win another important trophy”
Friday, May 15, 2020
“The story of the National Team, which turns 110 today, is a great one. It’s the story of a wonderful journey of a team which represents Italy and belongs to all Italians. A team whose presence is always felt and which is able to bring people together. This also applies in the most difficult moments, like what we’re currently experiencing today.” These were the words of FIGC President Gabriele Gravina, who was a guest on TG Sport on Rai2 and joined Head Coach Roberto Mancini and Italy’s Head of Delegation Gianluca Vialli in discussing 110 years of Azzurri history with Luca Di Bella and Enrico Varriale.
It all started for the Azzurri against France at the Arena Civica in Milan on 15 May 1910, and plenty of success has followed since: the National Team has won four World Cups (in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006) and one European Championship (in 1968). As for the present day, Italy were meant to get together next week to begin their preparations for the European Championship, but, due to the health emergency that has hit the world, the tournament has now been postponed to next summer.
“I’m optimistic, as I think Roberto Mancini is,” continued the President, who was tuning in from Sulmona. “Looking towards the future, Italy can win another important trophy with the help of our fans. We’re looking forward to next year with this year’s international schedule having been abandoned due to the sad events taking place this year. We have a very young team and having an extra year’s experience will be to our advantage.
Speaking from Rome, Roberto Mancini talked about the present and the future: “Being the Head Coach of the Azzurri is always a real source of pride, even more so at the moment because the National Team is a symbol of a country that never gives up.” Mancini hopes that football can resume shortly, including on an international level.
“There’s no hiding from it: there will be difficulties. Returning to the pitch after months of inactivity won’t be easy, but, like all Italians, I hope that we’ll return to normality soon and the National Team will be able to continue its journey in a calm manner. Even if there’s been a lot of enthusiasm recently due to the games we’ve won and how we’ve played, there’s the hope that having an extra year to prepare ourselves will help the team to improve still further and find consistency. Hopefully we’ll be able to discover a few other promising prospects too. For lads like Zaniolo, for example, the extra year provides an opportunity to improve. This applies to the others too.”