Sport

Roberto Mancini claims Italy have ‘four or five' teenagers as good as Jude Bellingham

'No that bad' - Mancini pleased to avoid France after Euro 2024 …

He’s being hailed as the great hope of England football following his performances at the 2022 World Cup, but Roberto Mancini clearly doesn’t rate Jude Bellingham as highly as the rest of us.

Bellingham, 19, performed above and beyond his years during the tournament, proving one of the bright lights for Gareth Southgate’s side.

The midfielder scored in the win over Iran and played well against Senegal, and he’s been linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool over recent times.

However, Mancini clearly isn’t all that convinced by his talents.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The 58-year-old, who is currently in charge of the Italian national team and previously managed Manchester City and Inter Milan, claimed that there are several Italian teenage midfielders who are just as good as him.

Could Italy really have five youngsters as good as Bellingham?Getty Images

According to him, people just don’t realise how good they are because teenagers in Italy aren’t given the same chances to play as players in other leagues.

Speaking to Calcio Mercato, Mancini said: "It’s not true that there’s lack of talent in Italy, that we don’t have a Bellingham. We have many Bellinghams, at least four or five.”

It’s not the first time that managers have poured cold water on the hype surrounding English midfielders.

Back in 2011, Pep Guardiola while managing Barcelona dismissed Jack Wilshere’s performance after Arsenal’s 2-1 win over his side.

Despite the hype surrounding the English midfielder who was 19 at the time, Guardiola said: “Wilshere is a top player. He is an excellent player, not just Arsenal, but also for the national team.

"[But] he is lucky because we have many players in the second team like him but he plays because there is no pressure at his club to win titles."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)