After Mateo Retegui scored in his first two caps, so Roberto Mancini assures he could call more ‘Oriundi’ to play for Italy. ‘Switzerland, Belgium, France, Germany, England all do it.’



The Azzurri earned a 2-0 victory away to Malta this evening, with Retegui and Monza midfielder Matteo Pessina on target, securing their first points in the EURO 2024 qualifiers.

Argentina-born Retegui had also found the back of the net on his debut in the 2-1 defeat to England on Thursday, proving Mancini right in the huge gamble on the Tigre talent who is on loan from Boca Juniors.

“Retegui knows how to put the ball in the net and that is not nothing,” said Mancini in his press conference.

“That is what we saw when we were scouting him. He still needs time, he must get to know European football, but he knows how to score and that is an important quality.”

There had been criticism that Retegui was representing Italy despite not yet speaking Italian, and this evening he at least started to sing the national anthem.

“He tried, that is already good. Having Retegui in Serie A would make him stronger, help him learn the language and consequently dialogue better with his teammates on the field.”

The coach was asked if he intends to follow the example set by Retegui and call up more ‘Oriundi’ – those who are born and raised abroad with their ancestors hailing from Italy.

“Yes, it is a possibility. We have a minimal percentage of Italians who play regularly in Serie A. If you look at other countries, they all do it. Switzerland have 15 out of 20 players who are Oriundi. So do Belgium. France, Germany and England all look to Oriundi.

“Until a few years ago, we had many strong players and didn’t need to do it. The others did, often taking players that we had helped to develop and mature, so now we will adapt and do the same.”

There is also a shift in cultural acceptance in Italy, starting to truly consider those who were born and raised in the country as Italians, even if like Wilfried Gnonto their parents came from the Ivory Coast.

Italy has traditionally not really dealt with this sort of question, as it was always a land of emigrants who moved all over the world, rather than welcoming new migrants to the Peninsula.

4 thought on “Mancini: ‘Italy will call more Oriundi after Retegui’”
  1. Sorry Suzy but you’re inaccurate here. Italy has a rich tradition of using Oriundi in International game and actually the best criteria for using them: they have to have family ties to Italy (Retegui)or be born in Italy (Gnonto). Getting immigrant status in Italy isn’t as easy as France. France can scour Africa for talent and fast track their immigration. In Italy it takes longer and they have to have a tie to the land from ancesty.

    Italy have 6 big trophies. In all but 2 of them, Oriundi were used.

    Please correct your history.

  2. The way that France fast tracks citizenship is wrong. It also robs the home country of their own talents.

  3. Bruno Zapelli plays in Argentina but has been called up for the under 21 side. He is meant to be really good so I’m sure he will be called up by Mancini

  4. He doesn’t need to pick Oriundi.

    Squad of 26:

    GK: Donnarumma, Meret, Vicario/Provedel

    DEF: Lazzari, Di Lorenzo, Buongiorno/Bonucci, Mancini, Bastoni, Scalvini, Spinazzola, Dimarco.

    MID: Barella, Veratti, Frattesi, Pellegrini, Sensi, Castrovilli, Tonali

    ATT: Retegui, Zaccagni, Zaniolo, Chiesa, Orsolini, Raspadori, Politano, Kean/Immobile.

    There is no better squad than this, it makes no sense to me how some of these players get overlooked.

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