Mancini defends Retega’s challenge and criticizes Italy’s poor attacking ability

    Roberto Mancini defended the challenge of Argentine-born striker Mateo Retegui, lamenting Italy’s lack of attacking opportunities.

    Mancini has approached former Argentina under-19 and under-20 international Retegui to kick off the Azzurri’s Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

    Italy’s head coach did not expect the 23-year-old, on loan at the Tigris from Boca Juniors, to accept an invitation to play for the European champions.

    Everyone was surprised when Retegui, whose grandmother was born in Italy, was named to Mancini’s side ahead of the Group C first match against England at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Thursday.

    Mancini said on Monday: “We’ve been following him for a while, he’s got quality and he’s a young guy. We didn’t think he would say yes, we hesitated a bit and instead he immediately said yes. There is hope that this may be important, he is a smart and young boy.”

    The Azzurri boss has changed his stance on calling players born in another country.

    “A few years ago I said that players who were born in Italy should play for the national team, but this problem did not exist yet, and the world has changed.” He said.

    “All European national teams have players naturalized from other countries. We had players who were taken to the national teams of other countries.

    “And we do the same. It is useless to say, there are few of them in Italy. We are worse than [England boss Gareth] Southgate, if it’s possible to get new players, we’ll get players.”

    Mancini is concerned about the lack of options at his disposal.

    He said: “In Italy, no one else plays in the street. We used to play three or four hours outside, and then we went to practice, today this doesn’t happen anymore.

    “It’s no coincidence that players are still being born in countries like Uruguay, Argentina or Brazil, where they still play a lot on the street.”

    Mancini added: “I have no idea why so few forwards come out. we are really very limited in the offensive department.

    “We have three teams in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but out of three teams, a maximum of seven or eight Italians. This is reality”.

    Mancini is waiting to see if Federico Chiesa and Federico Dimarco can face England in Naples.

    Related articles


    Leave a Reply

    Share article

    Latest articles