Mancini hopes for a little luc...


Mancini hopes for a little luck as he signs new Italy contract

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Italy head coach Roberto Mancini believes that with a little luck the Azzurri can be competitive on all fronts over the next 18-months. 

The 56-year old was speaking after putting pen to paper on a contract extension. Mancini will remain in charge of Italy until June of 2026.

That summer the World Cup will return to North America for the first time since 1994. Mancini wasn't part of that squad that reached the final in Pasadena, having fallen out with then coach Arrigo Sacchi.

The former Inter and Manchester City boss took over from Gian Piero Ventura in May 2018, and has overseen a remarkable upturn in form.

Defeats to France and Portugal came early in his tenure, but since the Nations League defeat in Lisbon Italy haven't lost a single game. In fact, they've won each of their last six without conceding a single goal.

His win percentage (70%) in his first 30 games is better than that of World Cup-winners Vittorio Pozzo and Marcello Lippi, as well as Sacchi and Azeglio Vicini.

"I am very happy," Mancini said of his new deal, "I thank the Federation and President [Gabriele] Gravina.

"We are trying to carry on a work that has paid off, the fact of being able to put together a team that I like gives me a lot of satisfaction and I am optimistic for the future.

"In a single year we will have the European Championships, the Nations League and the World Cup finals, the goal is to be able to win while knowing that it will not be easy and that a little luck will also be needed."

Italy have the honour of opening this summer's European Championships. They face Turkey at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on June 11.

Mancini's charges will also face Switzerland and Wales in the Eternal City. Before the finals they have friendlies with San Marino (May 28) and the Czech Republic (June 4).

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