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Roberto Mancini refuses to comment on Italy future after shock World Cup failure

Jack Gallagher
Italy will not be at the 2022 World Cup
Italy will not be at the 2022 World Cup / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Roberto Mancini refused to answer questions regarding his future as Italy manager after his side suffered a monumental upset and failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The Azzurri were heavy favourites heading into a qualification playoff semi-final against North Macedonia on Thursday having won Euro 2020 and only lost one game in the last three-and-a-half years, but suffered a shock defeat courtesy of a 92nd-minute Aleksandar Trajkovski strike.

Speaking after the game, Mancini stated that he did not want answer questions about his future as national team manager.

"We will see," he said. "I think everyone is too disappointed right now to talk about the future.

"Just as the Euros was the most wonderful experience of my life, this was the biggest disappointment. We can say nothing, that is football, sometimes incredible things happen and it happened.

"We shouldn’t have been here in the first place, but we did everything we could to win and it’s hard to even talk about it.

"The victory at the Euros was absolutely deserved, we played great football. Then some of the fortune we had in that tournament turned into total and complete bad luck, as some unbelievable things happened from September onwards.

"We dominated the group, all we needed was one of those moments to go well, but neither of them did. Tonight, it feels almost as if conceding a goal at the 92nd minute was fitting. This is a group of fine players and I am sorry for them."

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the FIGC are already lining up Fabio Cannavaro as the next Azzurri manager if Mancini decides to leave. The Italian publication also report that World Cup-winning manager Marcello Lippi will take on a directorial role in the new set-up.