Roberto Mancini admires Federico Bernardeschi’s versatility for Italy and insists “it’s not enough to have a champion in the squad to succeed.”
The Euro 2020 qualifying campaign kicks off against Finland at 19.45 GMT.
“Modern football is more balanced than it was even just a few years ago. There are no more easy games, every team has improved tactically and it’s not enough to have a champion in the squad to succeed,” Mancini told Rai Sport.
“You need to have a team first and then the champion can make the difference.”
He is rebuilding the Azzurri after their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, focusing on young talent such as Moise Kean and Bernardeschi.
“Federico has a lot of quality, especially for his age, and I believe he can become a real goal-scorer, which is where his game is probably lacking right now.
“He has the potential to do it, can cover many different roles and that is a big advantage for both him as a player and his Coach.”
The Nazionale in general are struggling to score goals, only finding the net more than once on Mancini’s debut friendly against Saudi Arabia.
“I want to focus on beautiful football, knowing that we have to defend too, but have never lacked quality. We’ve got to continue working to reach the top level, but not think about it too much.
“If France were to face us in about a year’s time, I don’t think it’d be a walk in the park for them. Right now, the important thing is to play well, win and qualify for Euro 2020.”
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