After failing to qualify, Italy national football team coach Roberto Mancini seemed calm about the upcoming 2022 World Cup relegation in Qatar. “We will be there because we are strong and because we were the best team in the European Championship,” the European champions coach said in an interview with “Gazzetta dello Sport” (Monday). He doesn’t think much about the next home game in Palermo against North Macedonia.
“I tell myself, look what we threw. It was enough to win the first leg against Switzerland, which we dominated,” the 57-year-old said. Italy did not go past 0-0 in the last World Cup qualifier match in Northern Ireland in mid-November and let Switzerland outlast them in the long-distance duel, beating Bulgaria 4-0. As the Azzurri finished only second in Group C, they will now have to face North Macedonia in relegation on March 24, 2022. If the four-time world champions qualify, the ‘final’ will face either Turkey or Portugal away from home.
If they fail, Italy threatens to miss the World Cup finals for the second time in a row. When Mancini was asked what would happen to his job in this situation, he was calm: “I don’t think about it. I think we will win the World Cup.” Austria is also trying to try its luck in the play-off, Wales will be the first contender to wait on March 24th and, if successful, will continue at home against Scotland or Ukraine.