Italy’s national team is on a journey to return to thier former glories following the shocking failure to qualify to the 2018 World Cup. Equipped with a new manager and some exciting young talent in tow, Italy prepare to take on Poland in their maiden Nations League match.
Facing a legion of disappointed fans
The popularity of the national team in Italy is by most accounts at an all night low. Who could blame the supporters? Italy, a four time World Cup winner, fell short of qualifying to this summer’s tournament. Furthermore, their performances in recent competitions have also altered between good and disappointing. It’s clearly time to start things over. And the Italian Federation has acknowledged this.
First and foremost, they’ve turned to the coaching talent of Roberto Mancini. His career in management has seen him take on jobs with the likes of Manchester City, Inter Milan and, most recently, Zenit. The job of Italian manager has seemed appropiate for Mancini for some time. The fact that he is being given this opportunity 18 years into his coaching career, is meant to signify that changes are seriously being considered.
Italy won’t be getting a pushover opponent. The planned new era will start with Italy playing Poland. The White and Reds have had a few great few years, that ended abruptly with this summer’s World Cup. Poland is going through its own reorganization. The disappointing performance during the summer has brought changes to management. Jerzy Brzeczek is now in charge of the team.
What is the UEFA Nations League
The match itself is something of a mixture between an official game and a friendly. This will be Italy and Poland’s first game in the brand new Nations League, a competition UEFA hopes will eventually take the place of the uneventful, low stake friendlies.
Italy and Poland have included in the first tier of the competition. Current European champions, Portugal, round up the group. The teams will battle for a chance to qualify to the finals of the inaugural tournament. Moreover, four national teams will gain direct access to the Euro 2020 finals.
FootballCoin players involved
Mancini looks determined to use this opportunity to inject new blood into the Italian squad. Several players, most notably Gigi Buffon, announced their intention to retire form international football following the World Cup miss.
As a result, players like goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (19.53 points in last FootballCoin contest) are set to be given a larger role in the team. Donnarumma is viewed as a long term prospect to replace Buffon.
Youngsters like Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma) are among those called up. And other young players will make their way into the team, promises Mancini.
The manager is also giving assurances to Nice’s Mario Balotelli (27.24 season points), a striker that has been on and off the Italian roster in recent years, who is likely to play against Poland. Not only that, but formidable Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini (36.81 season points) is also set to come out of international retirement to help the Italians.
The international matches mark a brief hiatus in FootballCoin contests. Those are set to return next week, along with the national football leagues. Keep an eye on the players involved in international matches. And don’t forget to get your picks ready for next week’s contests.