Mancini speaks at the Social Football Summit: "We decided to change course and focus on youngsters"

The Head Coach was interviewed at the international event dedicated to innovation in the world of football

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Mancini speaks at the Social Football Summit:

The third edition of the Social Football Summit, an international event focused on digital and social media marketing, brand strategy and innovation in the football industry, concluded today with an interview given by Italy Head Coach Roberto Mancini. Among the topics discussed over the past few days were the possible responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges relating to economic sustainability and the preservation of the sport’s social values.

The Head Coach has been a key figure in the ‘Rinascimento Azzurro’ (‘Azzurri Renaissance'), which the FIGC wanted to implement following Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, one of the darkest moments in the Azzurri’s history. Thanks to the attractive football they’ve played, their purposeful attitude and the faith that has been placed in youth, the National Team qualified for EURO 2020 with a record of ten wins from ten, while they’ve now also progressed to the Final Four of the UEFA Nations League thanks to the victory they achieved against Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo yesterday evening.

“When we began our journey, the situation wasn’t the best: there was a lot of disappointment following the team’s failure to reach the World Cup,” Mancini said. We decided that we’d try to make changes, trying to find young players with the technical quality to create a strong side quickly. The lads have done wonderfully well, helping our fans feel closer to the team again. We also performed excellently yesterday in what was a difficult situation, and there was the obligation to win. They showed that they’re a solid group. If this wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t be able to play so well.” Now, the Azzurri’s thoughts will turn to their next objectives, from World Cup qualifying to next summer’s European Championship, which was postponed this year due to the pandemic: “We were ready for the Euros and it was disappointing not to play the tournament in June, but new young prospects have sprung up over the past few months. They are capable of enjoying a big future with the National Team.

Giovanni Sacripante, the FIGC’s Head of Marketing & Digital Contents, also spoke, underlining how the Federation has increasingly reached out to younger generations over the past few years through a targeted strategy, with this involving an ever-strengthening presence on social media and even the birth of the eNazionale TIMVISION, which won the first virtual European Championship organised by UEFA earlier on this year.