Mancini considers Joao Pedro and Lucca for Italy

Joao Pedro Keita Balde Diao

Italy are desperate for goals ahead of the World Cup play-offs in March and Roberto Mancini is reportedly considering both Lorenzo Lucca and Joao Pedro.

La Nazionale have failed to win their World Cup qualification group. Therefore, they are forced to qualify for Qatar 2020 through the play-offs.

Ciro Immobile missed Italy’s last two games with an injury, while Andrea Belotti wasn’t fully fit and played 58 minutes against Switzerland and 25 against Northern Ireland.

Both strikers have failed to score consistently with their country, so Mancini is considering alternative routes for the play-offs in March.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Cagliari star Joao Pedro is one of the options considered by Mancini.

Balotelli the answer to Italy’s problems?

The Brazilian striker has never played with the Seleçao has an Italian passport. Therefore he is eligible to play with the Azzurri.

“I’ve spoken about it with an important person, Joao Pedro is Italian and he could play for the Azzurri,” Cagliari director Stefano Capozucca told Radiolina on Thursday.

Joao Pedro arrived in Italy in 2010 and got married to his Italian wife Alessandra in 2012, obtaining Italian citizenship in 2017.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the FIGC is analysing all the paperwork to have final confirmation that Joao Pedro is eligible to play for Italy.

The 29-year-old has scored seven goals in 12 games this season. He netted 16 goals last term and 18 in 2019-20.

Joao Pedro has played with Brazil, but only at a youth level, scoring one goal in 11 appearances with the U17 squad. This could cause problems as it happened with Papu Gomez in 2007, when the Azzurri considered giving him a call-up.

Pisa striker Lorenzo Lucca could offer Mancini a different option.

This season the 21-year-old has scored six goals in 13 Serie B games, making his U21 debut in September.

He has two goals in four appearances with the Azzurrini.

According to Tuttosport, Juventus are interested in signing him and Mancini is considering including him in the squad that will try to book a place in the 2022 World Cup.

24 Comments on “Mancini considers Joao Pedro and Lucca for Italy”

  1. Oh gawd.

    I admit he’s been one of the only bright spots for Cagliari relegation-bound Cagliari this season but this just admits we are not good that we have to get a guy who is as Brazilian as they come to play for us. At least Jorginho had been in Italy since Age15. Don’t care that his wife his Italian. Of course she is, Brazilian players always go for that kind to marry.

    No Thanks.

  2. This is ridiculous. Next thing you know you’ll be able to claim Italian citizenship if you’ve lived next door to an Italian passport holder for 5 consecutive years

  3. And this is not the case of an Oriundo so lets not get it twisted.

    Jorginho Frello, Emerson Palmieri, Rafael Toloi all have direct partial Italian ancestory ro varying degrees. Toloi said in his part of the city, they are all Italian descendants. Obviously his name changed along the way.

    Roger Ibanez and now Joao Pedro?

    Got a better idea. Increase the number of Italians in’A’ from the current paltry 35% and we wouldn’t come across as so desperate. Now it’s embarrassing

  4. To add to the point above, the second option noted in the article plays in Serie B right now. Imagine France, Spain, Germany or England lining up with a striker who plays in their second division…

  5. @Queen Jorginho is OK because he has been in Italy since 15 but Joao Pedro isn’t even though he would of been 18-years-old when he arrived? What ?

    Anyway player’s like Lucca and maybe someone like Colombo aren’t ready for the NT hence both in been in Serie B. I think Italy need to persist with someone like Raspodori and stop playing trash like Bernardeschi and di Lorenzo. Mancini needs to play Tonali , Calabria and probably someone like Politano they’re the future of Italy and have done well at club level.
    And Italy has better NOT call up Balotelli either, that ship has long sailed and would be more embarrassing than selecting Pedro or Lucca.

  6. Are they serious or is this article a joke. There are others i would opt for Petagna or Destro what about pobega or what happened to Grifo. The options r there. But as queens half corgi mentioned change the quotas for Italian to be majority in Italy and we will become unbeatable.

  7. What about Quagliarella??? He would actually make the most sense and is still a dangerous striker. At this point, I’d even consider calling Gilardino out of retirement…

  8. Kam,

    Admittedly I didn’t do the math. Kinda skimmed past the article and didn’t know he’s been in Italy THAT long.

    He seems like a good man, never controversial, skilled, produces goals and is in form, but is this what we are doing now?

    Imagine a lineup that had all 4 Brazilians in there. Make it 5 with Roger Ibanez. People would laugh at us. They will laugh at us by not qualifying again as well though.

    I could care less that he married Italian. Obviously he would. If he was cleaning toilets she wouldn’t even look at him.

    Him and Ibanez, no thanks. I may have a change of heart but right now, no for me.

  9. Luca yes, Joao Pedro no. I don’t care if he’s the next Messi, he’s doesn’t have any Italian ancestry, unlike Palmieri and Jorginho who have Italian grandparents.

  10. Moise Kean, Gianluca Scamacca, Giacomo Raspadori – assuming Ciro Immobile or Andrea Belotti are not fit.

    Joao Pedro is not Italian and even if he was he is not a forward he would be in my opinion competing for time with Chiesa, Berardi, Insigne, Zaniolo, etc. Stocked in that department.

    Use the resources available or if wanting to go down the line look at at the likes of Roberto Piccoli, Francesco Caputo, Manolo Gabbiadini.

    The talent isn’t the problem, Mancini just needs to revive the hunger the squad showed pre-winning Euros. I for one am confident he will, no need to panic.

    The impact of having Lorenzo Pellegrini and Matteo Pessina as more attacking threats from midfield as options and perhaps fit Spina instead of Emerson will also aid the cause.

  11. Caputo seemed to do well then disappeared, if Ciro can’t score then no one will! Man scores for fun for us! Belotti is a waste of space! Shame Pellegri hasn’t lived up yet! Listen tho there aren’t many centre forwards coming through now…. All kids want to be a wing forward… try Cheisa through the centre I say… he is like Thomas Muller I think he would blossom into a goal scorer

  12. I don’t feel good about this but let’s face it

    Italy has spent 11 years + developing this guy?

    Don’t we get something out of it?

    Married to an Italian woman and his kids for sure could play for Italy when older…so?

  13. Where does that leave us non Italians who fell in love with the Azzurri because of legends like Maldini, Nesta, Totti, Pirlo etc?

    I mean if you have Brazillians everywhere in the line up!

  14. The biggest problem is Mancini has telegraphed to the world that Italy will play the 4-3-3 with the same group of players “regardless of their current form”

    I’ll just say this as well

    What made it a great formation was the overlapping fullbacks

    They don’t or can’t anymore

    Mancini needed to start using fullbacks with speed and the ability to get forward and attack

  15. mancini has no other choices. whoever the striker is or originally comes from as far as he or any other potential striker can score & shows better abilities rather than desperate immobile & belloti whom did nothing for the azzurri, then let it be. the objective goal is for italy to be at world cup 2022, anything else is not acceptable at all.
    the comments raised here against pedro & lucca are based on prejudice and has nothing to do with football.

  16. Mancini 2015; “If you play for Italy you should be Italian. I believe an Italian player deserves to play in the national team, while those who are not born in Italy, even if they have Italian family, shouldn’t have that right.”

    “We do so much to train young players and in the end we draft in some oriundi (players born to Italian emigrants). It would be better to bring our own young players through.

    “But if these are the rules, Conte is free to apply them as he pleases. I have my own opinion.”


    Mancini 2021; Wanna used as many Brazilian as possible, even they not Italian blood, neither born in Italy.

    I have better idea, why not start offer many young talented foreigners that flooding Seria-A today, he can build up strong Azzurri from it.


  17. Mr lazIo
    try Cheisa through the centre I say… he is like Thomas Muller I think he would blossom into a goal scorer

    Just polish Chiesa’s closes, finishes and he will score like a Baggio, remember he comes from Fior where many strikers come from there

    In fact his finishes are not really the problem, it’s his struggling from wing (rubbing shoulders with linesman) to center beating down defenders and then gasping for air tries to take a shot. The coaches are at fault as they are overworking him. Believe me and you can take it to the bank, you center this lad and he will score 100 goals. There is a rumor that Allegri may try this.

    We have the strikers but in the training their finishing technique is poor.
    Several key pressing issues to address:
    – Never attempt to score from the midfield like a canon ball, very few players actually score this way
    – Strike ball less aggressive so it dips inside the bar not over the bar
    – Strike ball less aggressive so it does not go wide
    – If up against a defender or 2 flick ball over as someone like Chiesa collects it and tries to score
    – Never strike ball at the keeper, but to the left side or right side of keeper. Imagine a bus (size of net) and keeper is a moving target or stationery, the striker is to strike either 2 windows to the left or 2 windows to the right
    – If up against the keeper in a tight angel flick the ball over the keeper
    – Etc.

  18. @Jarod KNowles, why do you keep including that drivel at the end of all your comments? It appears on every current story about La Nazionale on this site. You make it sound so easy, I’m assuming Mancini will be calling you up in March due to your shooting and finishing skills?

  19. People getting wound up saying he’s not Italian meanwhile I bet the majority here aren’t citizens, can’t speak it and have never been LOL. Relax. Does this speak to Italy’s forward issues? Absolutely, but calm down on the anti-immigrant angle.

  20. I think Lucca is a good option off the bench. He can develop into the luca Toni type striker we need eventually. Sebastian Esposito is another young option. I think destro deserves to be on the team he could help.

  21. Just consider that in 2004, Alberto Gilardino was the highest scoring Italian in Serie A and yet he was not taken to Euro 2004 because, in true Italian coaching philosophy, he was deemed too young.

    Now? We are considering to bring in Lorenzo Lucca who plays in ‘B’. Direct issue of Italian players being down to 35% in the league.

    Even Lucca is far from a sure bet, however. Seems like he’s been stuck on 6 goals for a while now as these goals (or 5 of 6) were all scored in September. But he hasn’t carried his September form into October and November.

    This is real bad. Mancio may very well have to go to his old horses and squeeze another 2 matches out of them. We’re going to telegraph our lineup and formation to our Playoff opponents, but if no Striker goes on a heater, we have no choice.

    Also Lucca wasn’t even on the substitutes bench for Pisa this past weekend. Anybody know the reason?

  22. First of all we should not be talking like this , we should be already relaxing , now we going have to wait on Friday for the draw , then go threw roller coaster of feelings in March . We was Euro champions we should not of coming second to the Swiss that’s just ridiculous. Still p** off .

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