Italy Manager Roberto Mancini urged his players to entertain the public one last time at Euro 2020 and said he had no plans to change the Azzurri‘s offensive style versus a more physical England in Sunday’s final at Wembley.
The Italians have been one of the most attractive teams to watch throughout the tournament, scoring 12 goals, just behind Spain, who struck 13 times before being eliminated on penalties by Mancini’s side in the semi-finals.
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When asked for words to describe his team, Mancini said at a press conference: “Entertaining and fun, but also concrete and substantial. There have been tough games. Some have been extremely tough.
“Nothing was easy, even in the group stage, we did a good job getting over the line as quickly as possible after two games. But it was a tough road along the way, we had to fight hard.
“I hope the team can once again entertain people for another 90 minutes tomorrow before they go on vacation – a last ditch effort.”
The Italian midfielder’s ability to dictate possession and stretch his opponents with smooth passes stood out on his way to the final.
Mancini has stressed that he has no intention of changing his tactics against a physical English side, despite struggling to impose that style against Spain.
Taylor Twellman and Ian Darke give a preview of the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy.
“We’ve always played that way. Even against Spain we wanted to play like that, but they did a good job limiting us, they kept the ball better than us,” he said.
“However, we are going to try to do what we have done so far and what has brought us here, we cannot change that now.
“England are a very physically capable team on the whole pitch. They are stronger than us from that point of view. But you play football with the ball on the bridge and we hope to do a better job on that score, we let’s hope that this will be important qualities in a match like tomorrow night.
“Sometimes the smallest wins, it’s happened to us in the past, and we hope it happens to us this time around.”
Much of the pre-match attention in Italy has been focused on how Italy’s veteran center-backs Giorgio Chiellini and Leonard Bonucci will face the threat of a dangerous English attack led by Harry kane and Rahim sterling.
“If I try to match Sterling in a run I don’t think I’ll ever beat him,” said Italy captain Chiellini, 36.
“But maybe in situations where it’s a physical 50-50 or there’s a long ball in front of the goalkeeper, I might be more likely to win the lead.
“I have to try to limit their attributes, but it depends on who is playing. Kane and Sterling are different players, and then the other English forwards all have their own qualities.
“It almost makes me laugh, because the England bench probably could have made it to the final, they have amazing players.
“Fortunately this is not an individual game, it is a team game. It is not necessarily important that Chiellini and Bonucci can beat Kane and Sterling, it is if Italy can beat England . “