It’s been a year since Italy manager roberto mancini added goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu in the 89th minute of his european championship clash against Welsh – and it is a gesture that continues to be talked about to this day.
To give you some context, the eventual winners of the competition, Italy, were already through to the round of 16 at Euro 2020 when former Manchester City and Inter Milan boss Mancini took out Gianluigi Donnarumma with just a couple. minutes to go.
As they held a 1-0 lead against Wales in their final Group A game, many fans questioned the decision to bring in Sirigu, who had not featured in the competition up to that point. But the real reason behind the decision was soon revealed and touched people’s hearts.
If you remember the 1990 World Cup in Italy, former Sampdoria and Lazio striker Roberto Mancini was part of their 22-man squad but failed to record a single minute of playing time on home soil, something that says that It’s the biggest regret of his career.
So, as a result of his disappointment, it became his personal mission to give all 26 players a game during last summer’s European Championship.
WC 1990: Roberto Mancini part of that Italy team
1 of the only players who did not play a single minute in that WC
He still regards it as one of his biggest regrets.
He brought in Sirigu in the 89th minute against Wales.
He wants all the players to play a role in the European Championship, not to go through what he went through.
—Jerry Mancini (@jmancini8) June 22, 2021
That’s how it is. Mancini wanted to make sure that none of his players experienced the same feeling of being lost as he did all those years ago. Now that’s what you call world class man management.
Mancini even sent Sirigu for a few minutes in goal. His approach with this team speaks to his own regrets as a footballer. I went to a World Cup in 1990 and I didn’t play. He says his biggest regret remains not getting to play in one.
—Nicky Bandini (@NickyBandini) June 20, 2021
Italy, of course, won Euro 2020 after beating England on penalties and after the final whistle an emotional Mancini said he “owed” them after heartbreak in the past.
“I was very lucky to play on a great team in 1990 and on a great U-21 team,” he said. “Even though we were the better team, we didn’t win it and lost both times on penalties.”
He added: “Seeing all that we’ve managed to create, all the hard work that we’ve put in over the last three years, but specifically the last 50 days that have been very difficult.”