Italy has not contested a continental championship final since the 2013 UEFA U-21 European Championship showdown against Spain. That solid showing by the Italians  eight years ago was masterminded by DEVIS MANGIA. The Malta national teams’ head coach is familiar with the logistics that go through on and off the field during a major tournament. Gianluca Lia spoke to the former Azzurrini coach about the upcoming Euro 2020 championship…

The build-up for any major international tournament intensifies as soon as the national coaches start to announce their squad lists. No matter what, the coaches’ decision is immediately under scrutiny and potential starting formations start to take centre stage.

We often ask, when do coaches realise that those 23 players – 26 in the case of this year’s Euro 2020 due to the COVID-19 – suit best their idea of football?

“When you have to select the players for an international tournament, you have to consider that it is the business end of a cycle that you have started when you took charge,” Mangia said.

“Heading into this tournament, you should have a finished-product squad that fits your style of football.

Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta

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