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Southgate: Mancini modernizes Italy at Euro 2020

The Three Lions will face another Azzurri team in the final on Sunday

Gareth Southgate praised the work of Roberto Mancini to make Italy virtually unrecognizable from the squad he encountered in his playing days, and warned of the threat posed by Mancini’s modernized system.

Given Italy’s strength, Southgate said his team should play at their best to have a chance at a win.

The English boss believes the Three Lions and the Azzurri are the two best teams of the Euro 2020 series and deserve enemies in the final on Sunday.

What was said?

“They have a very clear way of playing, a good spirit, a great energy in the way they play, like all Italian teams very well, but also the style of play is probably different from the Italian teams from when I was younger – very modern, ‚ÄĚSouthgate told Sky Italy.

‘I’m been watching them closely for two years, because I know the work that Roberto Mancini did.

“It’s an exceptional team and I think the two best teams in the tournament reached the final without a doubt.”

Jordan Henderson offers similar praise in Italy

“In the games I’ve seen, they look so strong defensively, but they also have fantastic players who can hurt forward teams and score goals and create chances,” said the English midfielder. “So it’s a very difficult match and a difficult match for us, but at the same time I feel that if we perform at the levels we are capable of, then we can also cause them problems.”

Bigger picture

Mancini took over after Italy did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and he led a run of 33 unbeaten games in a row.

Contrary to the stereotype of Azzurri teams being prolific and defensive, this group pushes high on the field and scores goals in bunches. They scored 12 goals in six games at the tournament.

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