Italy had to rebuild after Antonio Conte left, he extracted everything out of that team and there were plenty of the old guard who had to move on.
After a disastrous spell for Gian Piero Ventura, and a brief caretaker role for Luigi Di Biagio, former Manchester City and Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini was appointed.
He has done very well so far and Italy are looking strong for this Euros. In order to find out more we get the lowdown from our colleague in Italy Paolo Pegoraro.
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Manager

Roberto Mancini has been a perfect fit for the role. He has given a new, extremely fresh breath of air to the Nazionale with a clean, stylish brand of football.
Now Italy has a young, talented and hungry group of footballers. Some had thought Mancio had lost his touch? No way…

Star Player

I would say Marco Verratti, who will miss the first matches due to injury, because of his international status.
But there aren’t any 'primadonnas' in Mancini’s group and this is really encouraging. Football is on the front page, not a particular player or another.

Marco Verratti

Image credit: Getty Images

Young Star

Federico Chiesa, who should feature on the right (or left) wing, is fast, technical, hungry and very skillful.
The MVP of Juventus’ season, we could say. He came from 'little' Fiorentina but never suffers from this kind of jump into a top team.

Surprise Player

Manuel Locatelli, Sassuolo captain and former playmaker of AC Milan.
He was the revelation of Serie A this season and looks ready to join a top team in Italy. Juventus, perhaps?

Manuel Locatelli, Sassuolo, Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

Expected tactics

Mancini uses 4-3-3 in a 'Catalan-way', sort of tiki-taka revisited for Italy.
It's quality football, when it works, with accurate short passing and an emphasis on retaining possession.

Prediction

Semi-finals, we’re optimistic. We hope this squad will entertain us and could join the final four.
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