Mancini says Italy must focus on future after missing out on World Cup

October 6, 2021 Italy coach Roberto Mancini REUTERS

Roberto Mancini said on Saturday that Italy must focus squarely on the future after the European champions failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second time in a row, leading to speculation over Mancini's own future as national coach.

Italy missed out on soccer's global showpiece starting in late November in Qatar after a shock 1-0 defeat at home to North Macedonia in Thursday's playoff semi-final.

After the last World Cup debacle, Italy laid the blame on team coach Gian Piero Ventura and soccer federation chief Carlo Tavecchio, both of whom resigned shortly afterwards.

This time around there were no calls for the removal of Mancini, however, with Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina backing him to shake off the defeat and continue in his role.

"The only right move now is to raise our heads and work for the future," Mancini wrote on Instagram.

"Let's take some time to reflect and understand clearly."

Italy next face Turkey, who were knocked out of World Cup qualifying by Portugal, in a friendly game on March 29.

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