Arsene Wenger has hailed Italy boss Roberto Mancini but insists that the Italians must be considered outsiders for Euro 2020.
"I think that Mancini has done extremely well. And they haven't lost a game, I think, for 18 or 19 games, Italy. I'm keen to see them, because their older generations, Chiellini, Bonucci, are of course older now. And the younger generation, what Italy has always been the culture of defensive solidity, can they show that at Euro 2020?"
Italy had missed out on qualification for the World Cup in 2018, and the Azzurri will be raring to go especially as all three of their group games will take place on home soil at the Stadio Olympico in Rome. Wenger believes that Italy could be an unknown package in the tournament.
"Going forward, they have creative midfielders now. And overall, I think they are an unknown package, but with the culture of football in Italy, with the culture of big tournaments, it is a country that can always be efficient. They have a culture of efficiency, and it will be interesting to see that."
Boss Roberto Mancini has helped Italy to the longest winning streak of the European sides at Euro 2020, and Wenger believes that the personality of the former Italian international combined with his attacking style can help the 1968 European champions.
"Mancini has developed a style of play that is modern, that is more based on the technical initiative when Italy used to be recently a bit more conservative. And in Italy, they had always coached with big personalities. Sacchi, Capello, Lippi and overall, Conte, now Mancini."
"In this country, the coach dictates his style of play. That is respected in Italy that the national team reflects the personality of the coach. Mancini has created a style of play that is more based on combinations and more on offensive attacking solutions."
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