Mancini has 'worked miracles' with 'mediocre' Italy, says Cassano
Roberto Mancini has "worked miracles" in charge of Italy and should not be hounded out of the role after their stunning failure to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.
That is the view of former Italy international Antonio Cassano, who described the current Azzurri vintage as "mediocre", citing last year's Euro 2020 triumph as proof of Mancini's brilliance.
Italy suffered a shock 1-0 loss to North Macedonia on Thursday to miss out on the World Cup for a second edition in a row, with some pointing the finger of blame of boss Mancini.
However, Cassano, who played 39 times and scored 10 goals for his country, said those critics "should be ashamed".
"Let's face it: our national team is a mediocre team and Mancini took them to the top of Europe last summer, making a miracle, playing in a way never seen before," he told reporter.
"I am truly sorry for Roberto, whoever asks for his resignation should be ashamed.
"We should all pray that Mancini will remain at the helm of the national team, he is the lifeline of Italy.
"Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne... many players seemed to me in difficulty. Italy has a mediocre team and Mancini had worked miracles so far."
The 39-year-old, who last played for his country in 2014, said Italy had been missing a talisman since Christian Vieri left the international stage in 2005.
He said: "Bobo, we haven't had a striker in the national team since you left."
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