Roberto Mancini admits losing Lorenzo Pellegrini and Stefano Sensi was a real blow for Italy going into the Euro 2020 opener with Turkey. ‘They can cover many different roles.’
The opening match of the tournament is tomorrow evening at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) in Rome.
“We are very pleased to begin this competition, albeit a year late. It’ll be a wonderful evening against a Turkey side that has good technique and knows how to play football, so I expect a good game,” Mancini told Sky Sport Italia.
Roma midfielder Pellegrini pulled out of the squad this morning after a muscular problem, replaced by Fiorentina’s Gaetano Castrovilli, while Matteo Pessina had already come in for Sensi.
“It’s disappointing for the injuries to Sensi and Pellegrini. Lorenzo can cover many different roles, so can Stefano, and they deserved to play in this European Championship. Unfortunately, these things can happen in our line of work.”
Marco Verratti is not 100 per cent fit either and won’t start tomorrow’s game, leaving the midfield short-staffed.
Mancini tried to reassure the squad and urged them to relish this competition.
“It is important to create a sense of empathy and understanding throughout the group. We hope to keep playing well, enjoying our football and entertaining the fans, that has to be our aim.
“When there are moments like this, we must go out there with the confidence we are a good team, the respect for the opponent and the knowledge we can play our game.”