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Italy identity still intact – Mancini

Roberto Mancini assures changing eight of Italy’s starting XI for the 1-0 win over Wales ‘shouldn’t make any difference, the identity remains the same.’

This was the first time the Azzurri had won all three group games at the Euros since 2000, when Dino Zoff’s men reached the Final.

Matteo Pessina’s goal was enough to secure victory over Wales, which was their 11th consecutive win, all with clean sheets.

“We couldn’t have done better, other than maybe score more goals. It was not easy, it was extremely hot and a very physical game, so the lads did really well,” the coach told RAI Sport.

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Mancini changed eight of the starting XI that beat Switzerland 3-0, but the performance remained of a very high quality.

“It’s important that the identity of the team remains the same, as changing three or four players shouldn’t make any difference. They all know what to do and the end product does not change.

“They all proved today that everyone here is a first-choice player. Winning wasn’t even necessary, which made it difficult in terms of mentality, but we fought for the win anyway and that shows so much.”

It also equalled the all-time Italy record of 30 games unbeaten, set in the 1930s by Vittorio Pozzo.

“Pozzo won many important trophies too, so we’re still far behind that level. Anyone who goes through to the Round of 16 can win the Euros, that’s for sure,” added Mancini.

“Every game is difficult, we mustn’t think that we can win every game or that any of this is to be taken for granted.

“We thank the people of Rome for all they’ve done for us and hope everyone can get back to enjoying themselves.”

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