After a difficult few months for the Azzurri, Italy coach Roberto Mancini promised changes were compounded by a crushing defeat to Argentina in Wednesday’s Finalissima.
Argentina was comprehensive 3-0 winners at Wembley, as the CONMEBOL/UEFA ‘Cup of Champions’ was revived for the first time since 1993.
Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala got the goals as Lionel Messi pulled the strings.
But in truth, Italy was fortunate only to lose 3-0 against a hugely impressive Albiceleste.
It was only Italy’s second match since their shock World Cup qualifying defeat to North Macedonia in March.
That loss prevented them from reaching Qatar 2022.
Despite the Azzurri winning Euro 2020 less than a year ago, Mancini is already looking to instigate something of a rebuild.
But he was keen to pay tribute to those who have played a vital role over the past four years.
Mancini is quoted as saying by Sky Italia:
“In the first half, we made two mistakes on their two goals, and then they were better at keeping the ball.
“They were better than us, but thanks to these guys who have played in these four years.
“There is regret for the lack of qualification for the World Cup.
“And tonight’s match was initially balanced, and then they had a superior quality to us.
“After this match, we had in mind to change several things, and we will do it. We need to find the players, put together a team that will suffer at the beginning and that in the future will be able to give us joy.”
The attack will be Mancini’s primary focus in any rebuild as he rued a lack of threat going forward.
“We have great difficulty scoring at the moment, and we have to work a lot knowing that it will not be so simple and it will take time [to overcome their issues].
“After the European Championship, we struggled to score.
“And we have to find solutions in this sense and try to be fast.
“But it will not be easy to put together a team that gives us short-term satisfaction even if there are good guys.
“We will have to make as few mistakes as possible.
“I have optimism. I like to work and train. But, unfortunately, we indeed lost against a great Argentina team.
“But we must know that there will also be these moments.
“And we must make sure that the youngest players learn quickly.”
Italy now turns their attention to the Nations League. They face Germany on Saturday and again on June 14 – matches against Hungary and England are sandwiched in between.
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