ITALIA MANGIA – “1 Football Club”, a radio program hosted by Luca Cerchione broadcast on 1 Station Radio, with the participation of Devis Mangia, head of the Malta national team.
Italy, Mangia: “A great disappointment as a sportsman and as an Italian”
“We are growing, we are achieving good results in the short term but, being a ‘project’, as the name implies, it will take more years to build something lasting”
How was Italy’s exclusion from the next World Cup accepted?
“A great disappointment, as a sportsman and as an Italian. That is the prevailing sentiment.
It is clear that things need to be reviewed. We look at the elimination of 2018 and 2022 but, the last World Cup we participated in, we have already been eliminated in the group. It must be said that, on the other hand, the national youth teams are ‘holding the impact’. All in all, things are going well with the under-19 national team, as well as the under-21. The problem ‘is to understand what happens next and, above all, to start framing the concept of’ young ‘. Infrastructure? Yes, I complained about the problem years ago, in other parts there is much more attention, in Italy not. If abroad the term ‘young’ is used for a 17-18 year old boy and, instead, in Italy for 22-23 year old players, it is obviously a problem “.
Italy, Mangia: “Low consideration of young people in Italy and lack of growth of the movement”
“The results of the last few years, even at the club level, give us this kind of answer. It is a question of the system itself. Think of Barcelona: it faces different problems over the years and starts with its own youngsters. In reference to that Under-21 in 2013, I had excellent players but I also had some shortcomings: many players still weren’t starting Serie A. In the following years the Under-21 level has increased but, then, those players are not managed to confirm themselves on certain stages “.
Insigne, Mangia: “Personal choices …”
“On Lorenzo these are personal choices that cannot be discussed. I do not allow myself to judge. As for Ciro, I don’t know, he had done well with me. He is a striker who has always scored, he has won top scorer titles. Then sometimes he doesn’t manage to perform at his best but, for me, he remains the best striker we have ”.
Did Arrigo Sacchi’s certificate of esteem weigh in your career, having defined you as one of the best prospects among Italian coaches?
“If he hadn’t been there, like Sogliano, probably my career wouldn’t have been there either (laughs, ed). I always thank them for their trust, it was a great honor. Have I ever been close to Napoli? No I do not think so. By train, perhaps, I passed close by, and then I was on vacation in Capri (laughs, ed) “.