Leeds: Italy’s head coach Roberto Mancini has taken a dig at ‘Brexit’ saying that Premier League teams from England are dominating in Europe, despite the country voting to leave the European Union.
“What does it mean? They want to leave Europe and they are playing the European finals,” Goal.com quoted Mancini as saying.
“English teams are strong, they have a lot of economic incomes, much more than Italian teams. They can invest a lot. Obviously, they have great squads with great players. This is one of the reasons,” he added.
The finals of this year Champions League will be played between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspurs on June 1 (local time) in Madrid whereas Arsenal and Chelsea face each other in the Europa League showpiece on May 29 (local time) in Baku.
This is the first time in history that all four clubs in the Champions League/European Cup and Europa League/UEFA Cup finals will be representatives from the same nation.
“Teams eliminated from the Champions League perhaps were technically stronger, but this what the beauty of football is about. Nobody expected these two English teams to reach the Champions League final,” Mancini said.
The former Manchester City manager has tasted success off late as Italy defeated Lichtenstein 6-0 and beat Finland 2-0 in March to be two points clear atop Group J in Euro 2020 qualifying.
“I think it was a good year,” Mancini said. “At the beginning, the team played so so, afterwards many players started playing well and many of them not so known until then managed to stand out. This is great news for us,” Mancini said.
“Italy always had good players. We won all the competitions where we were not considered as the favourite team. I do not think we are favourite but I believe we have a strong team which will play an important European championship,” he added.
Mancini had earlier experienced Serie A success with Inter Milan and he had also lead Manchester City to Premier League win in 2012.