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Daily Mail - 2021-06-11

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ITALY

Euro 2020

■ THE BOSS ROBERTO MANCINI APPOINTED after the Italians surprisingly failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. That proved a shrewd move because Mancini has since delivered the best ever win rate of any Italy coach. It’s no wonder the federation handed him a new deal — which lasts until 2026 — on the eve of these Euros. They sense something exciting is happening with him in charge. And the former Manchester City boss is experienced and ambitious enough to take this squad all the way. ■ THE STAR CIRO IMMOBILE CRISTIANO RONALDO scored 31 goals for Juventus in 2019-20 but still didn’t win Serie A’s Golden Boot — because Immobile (right) helped himself to 36 for Lazio. The striker has just finished the 2020-21 season by scoring 20 times, making him the topscoring Italian in their league last season. There will be an Italia ’90 vibe to their games with all three of Italy’s group matches being played at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico — Lazio’s stadium — so Immobile, 31, will feel right at home. If he has a golden month, Italy could take some stopping. ■ SUTTON’S VERDICT THEY boast big names all over the field, from Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in defence to Jorginho and Marco Verratti in midfield and Lorenzo Insigne and Immobile in attack. Has Mancini’s 4-3-3 been properly tested yet? Italy have enjoyed a long unbeaten run, and won all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifying matches, but they’ve faced some, shall we say, favourable opponents. Now comes the real test.

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