Roberto Mancini has praised his Italy squad for their continuous improvement and declared that the time has come to end their Euros drought.

Mancini has taken Italy to within three points of the Finals next year, when the Azzurri will try to win their first European Champions League since 1968.

“We must qualify, even if won’t be very easy,” Mancini said at a Press conference for tomorrow’s qualifier with Greece.

“When I took over the national team, I didn’t know what could happen in 15 months.

“However, it was important to hurry, between implementing a new winning style and getting to know the players.

“We’ve never been in trouble, even in defeats and against the world and European champions.

“In Portugal we’d changed 11 players, then we kept improving. The players found the feeling right away.

“It won’t be easy against Greece. They’ve changed Coach, formation and many players.

“We’ll see how they play and which system they will play, but nothing will change for us. Our footprint is clear, we want to win.

“Now comes the Euros as it’s the first competition we’ll have to face. Then, certainly, we’ll turn our attentions to the World Cup in Qatar.

“However, our primary objective remains the European Championship, which has only been won once by our people over 50 years ago.”

The former Sampdoria striker was then asked about Gianluca Vialli, who seems set to become head of delegation for the national team.

“I don’t know what will happen in a month, but I’m very pleased that President Gravina had this idea for Luca, my teammate for so many years.

“It pleases me, the staff and the players. I really think he can help us, now he’s grown up!”

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Football Italia staff