Italy coach Roberto Mancini was asked to comment on the national team’s slump after their second consecutive elimination from World Cup qualifiers. In the interview, Mancini underlined Zaniolo as an example for younger players to follow.
“Unfortunately we do not have many alternatives at the moment,” he said at an event titled Eccellenze Marchigiane a confronto, as reported by ANSA.
“Therefore we must quickly look for younger players who may not be well known at the moment or do not play at the highest level, but they have quality and I hope that in a short time they will be useful to the national team, and to many clubs as well.”
“We have seen many young players come through the ranks,” he continued. “And many of them are good but have no experience, some still play at a youth level, they may not be ready yet to play with older teammates to further improve their skills.”
“But we try to see their qualities immediately, and then we work on the physical side.”
“They’re good players, even though perhaps at the beginning they get into some silly situations, when they start playing at a high level they immediately understand that they have to be serious, and that they have to commit themselves, because being a footballer you can always improve, even at 30.”
“Our young players have a great future ahead of them, and when they have the chance to play they showed it, just like Zaniolo.”