Mancini: Patience needed with Azzurri

France World Cup stars get championship rings

Roberto Mancini has called for patience in rebuilding the Italy national team following the heartbreak of missing out on the 2018 World Cup.

Mancini is said to be the favourite to replace Gian Piero Ventura, who was sacked after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the showpiece in Russia.

However, the former Manchester City manager, who is currently in charge of Zenit in Russia's top flight, feels things should be done differently for the Italians to regain their place amongst the best teams in the world.

"Not watching the national team at the World Cup won't be a good thing for us," Mancini told Gr Parlamento.

"It won't be a regular World Cup, but the hope is that the national team go back to being among the world's best. Being behind the others isn't nice for us football lovers.

"The project? Everyone wants to make plans, but no-one has the patience to wait. In football, when you lose three, four, games in a row, it annoys everyone.

"I think that right now, the national team don't have so many of the champions they've always had, but they still have good players, while more are coming through in Italy.

"We must be patient, but in the youth academies of Italian teams, there are some players who can do well for the national team in the future."