Sports Desk, May 17 (EFE).- Roberto Mancini will remain as coach of Italy until 2026, the Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) said Monday.
“It is an announcement we have been working for a while. It is a project that needs time to be completed and we want to provide continuity for the work done in these three years,” FIGC president Gabriele Gravina told a presence conference after a meeting of the directors.
Mancini, 56, took charge of the Azzurri in May 2018 to oversee a a rebuilding effort after the national side failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.
“We are trying to advance work that has borne fruit. The fact of having achieved it and putting together an appealing team is very satisfying for me and I am optimistic about the future,” the coach said weeks ahead of the start of Euro 2020, postponed a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The contract Mancini signed with the FIGC called for an automatic extension if Italy qualified for the 2020 European Championships and that benchmark was met.
Along the way, Mancini’s men won 11 straight victories in 2019, a record for the Azzurri.
“In just a few years we have the Euro Cup, the final phases of the Nations League and the (2022) World Cup. The objective is to win, even knowing that it won’t be easy and that we will also need some good fortune,” the coach said Monday.
Of the 65 players Mancini has selected for matches, 32 were making their first appearances for Italy.
To prepare for Euro 2020, the Azzurri will play friendlies against San Marino, set for May 28 in Cagliari, and the Czech Republic, a match scheduled for June 4 in Bologna. EFE lm/dr