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THE BALL – Mancini justifies João Pedro for Balotelli and gives certainties for Donnarumma (Italy)

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Italy begins this Monday to prepare the jump-off to the World Cup. Inserted in Group B, the European champions will first face North Macedonia on Thursday in Palermo, then, in the event of victory, Portugal or Turkey, who will face each other in Porto on the same day.

Coach Roberto Mancini has already given an overview of the state of the team and the matches and was confident: he wants to win the World Cup.

“I’m confident because I know I have good players and professionals who built a European Championship victory from scratch when no one believed in it. Nobody… Confidence has to come from that, of what we have done. The team is solid, has qualities, and the objective is to win the World Cup, and for that we must first win these two matches. That’s all, “said he said at the Coverciano training center.

The choice of João Pedro, from Cagliari, to the detriment of Mario Balotelli, has been deeply analysed.

“I tried to call whoever could be most helpful. We don’t have a lot of space to try new things. The base is the Euro players, but I can’t call 40 of them. We don’t take the first match for granted, it won’t be easy, then there will be another 4 days to prepare for the second.” he said, but insisted – why João Pedro and not Balotelli?

“There are no big reasons. Of course, leaving a player at home is always painful, be it Balotelli, Calabria or Bernardeschi. But the assessment was the same: João Pedro can play both as a second striker and as a spearhead, the assessments were like that.

Mancini was also asked about the state of mind of goalkeeper Donnarumma, weakened by criticism from Paris Saint-Germain. “Do I care? Absolutely not. It is better to have him on our side than against him.”

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