World Cup winner Beppe Bergomi maintains the future is bright for Italy, wants better service for Ciro Immobile and insists ‘nobody has’ as many midfield options as the Azzurri, but they are really missing a Roberto Baggio-style Number 10.
The Azzurri have lurched from Champions of Europe to crashing out of the World Cup play-offs in under a year, confusing fans and raising questions on how the same squad can give such different performances.
Some blamed the coach, others looked to the lack of natural talent coming through, but 1982 World Cup winning defender Bergomi is optimistic.
“I believe Mancini has the men to do well,” Bergomi told La Repubblica.
“In midfield he’s got Bryan Cristante, Sandro Tonali, Nicolò Barella, Manuel Locatelli, Marco Verratti, Davide Frattesi and Jorginho. Plus of course Lorenzo Pellegrini, who played there against Hungary.
“Who else in Europe has that kind of a choice to make? Germany have three and play with Timo Werner upfront, who is not a striker.
“People talk about a lack of talent, but where we’re really missing someone is a Number 10. Italy haven’t had a classic 10 since the time of Roberto Baggio, Gianfranco Zola, Francesco Totti or indeed Mancini.”
“We should put Immobile in the right condition to score goals and not be in such a hurry to get rid of Belotti either,” replied Bergomi.
Italy failed to qualify for their second consecutive World Cup tournament and are now using the Nations League to try out new faces.
“What’s done is done, hopefully we can use the next two years to work without pressure. We’re preparing for a European Championship nobody is demanding that we win and the World Cup qualifiers are expanded to 48 teams. It is best to use this time to experiment.”
Bergomi e la Nazionale: “Serve un 10 alla Baggio, ma le punte ci sono. E non scarichiamo Immobile e Belotti” https://t.co/zdAHPiL0yE
— Repubblica Sport (@SportRepubblica) June 27, 2022