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Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni says Italy did not deserve to miss the World Cup, while he can not see Paulo Dybala being distracted by speculation about his future.
European Championship 2020 winners Italy and Copa America champions Argentina meet in the ‘Finalissima’ at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.
But there is no chance that the pair will meet in Qatar next November after Italy failed to make another World Cup in a row after the play-off defeat against Northern Macedonia in March.
This led to questions about Roberto Mancini’s future and the Italian system of not producing young players, with the Azzurri relying on experienced champions such as Giorgio Chiellini and Ciro Immobile.
Scaloni was quick to support his opposing number Mancini as he expressed his dismay that Italy faltered in World Cup qualifiers.
“Italy did not deserve not to go to the World Cup, they are still European champions, a great team,” Scaloni told reporters on Tuesday.
“There are matches where the ball does not want to enter the goal and that is how the matches are lost. But Mancini has done a good job, restoring a clear identity to Italy after so many years.
“I do not think he will make many changes now, rather it will gradually change, as we did: It happens to all national teams sooner or later that they will have to change. Now they can start all over again.”
– Finalissima: 1.6.22 (@ EURO2024) 31 May 2022
Meanwhile, Dybala is on his way to the front door at Juventus when his contract expires in June, with Inter reportedly the favorites to sign the Bianconeri talisman.
As speculation continues over the future of the Argentina striker, Scaloni insisted it will not affect Dybala’s performance for his country.
“These are situations that we have all had,” Scaloni said of Dybala. “The important thing is that the players choose with their heads and then play.
“They are professionals and know how to handle certain situations. He is an extraordinary player and boy. He did not play as much with us as we wanted, but we hope he will be a good choice for us in the future. ”