With news that Italy has signed head coach Roberto Mancini to a contract extension through 2026, it's been a busy week at Coverciano already. Mancini, a 56-year-old native of Iesi on the Adriatic coast, has successfully removed the wounds of Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup (to the extent possible). After taking over the Azzurri reins in May of 2018, Mancini's Italy side qualified for Euro 2020 with three matches to spare in the qualification rounds, while also setting a new national team record with 11 consecutive victories en route to a perfect Euro 2020 qualification record.
By qualifying for next month's Euros, Mancini automatically triggered a clause in his deal, extending his contract through 2022, but in light of Italy's dramatic turnaround under his tutelage, the FIGC has handed Mancini another extension through the 2026 World Cup in North America.
FIGC President Gabriele Gravina spoke on Mancini's new deal earlier today:
Mancini has been working brilliantly for two years and moving forward on this project was a duty out of respect for the Federation and our fans. We made an important choice, supported by us in the Federation and not by different sponsors or other parties.
We want to caress the enthusiasm of the Italian fans, now we are aiming to win a trophy that has been missing for years and we must put ourselves forward.
Without overthinking if it doesn’t happen, because only one team wins in the end.
With Italy's quest for their next trophy slated to begin on June 11th against Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Mancini and the FIGC released their provisional roster ahead of Euro 2020. Mancini has called up 33 players ahead of Italy's tune-up against San Marino, currently set for May 28th at the Sardegna Arena in Cagliari.
Among the 33 names on Italy's provisional roster are five current Roma players: Lorenzo Pellegrini, Leonardo Spinazzola, Gianluca Mancini, Bryan Cristante, and Alessandro Florenzi, who has spent the 2020-2021 season on loan with PSG. Nicolo Zaniolo and Stephan El Shaarawy did not make the provisional roster, nor did Jorginho or Emerson Palmieri, who are currently training for the Champions League final with Chelsea.
Following their friendly against San Marino, Mancini will have to submit Italy's final and official Euro 2020 roster by June 1st. Italy's final exhibition match prior to their Euro 2020 opener against Turkey will take place on June 4th against the Czech Republic at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in Bologna.
While it's disappointing to see El Shaarawy miss the cut, with four other Roma players potentially taking part this summer, Giallorossi fans will have no shortage of rooting options while watching the Azzurri tame Europe.
Look for our Euro 2020 coverage to begin in earnest in June.