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Italy U-21 coach: Kean and Barella make us proud

Italy Training Session And Press Conference
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Italy U-21 coach, Gigi Di Biagio says Moise Kean and Nicolo Barella have made him proud after scoring in the 2-0 victory over Finland.

Luigi Di Biagio insists the influx of young talent like Moise Kean and Nicolo Barella into Italian senior team came from the project they started eight years ago.

He coached Italy’s U-20 side in the period between 2011 and 2013 – then he took over the U-21 side and is currently serving his sixth season as the Azzurrini manager.

“Those goals make us very proud,” said Azzurrini Coach Di Biagio via Football Italia.

“Many of the players who are hitting the headlines now came from the project we started eight years ago when we were asked for a complete reformation of the Nazionale from the foundations.

“There are many players who will in future be regulars in this Nazionale, such as Gianluca Mancini, Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini.

“Roberto Mancini helps and supports us, he is aware of all the hard work we’ve done over the years.”

Nicolo Zaniolo made his senior debut for the Azzurri on Saturday night, while Moise Kean and Nicolo Barella scored their first goals for the national team.

Italy and San Marino will host the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, as the Azzurrini are one of the favourites to win the competition.

“We’ll have to figure out quite a few things and see who is available,” continued Di Biagio.

“There will be a great deal of pressure and it’s a top level tournament, as we are in the same group as Spain, for example.

“We must try to win, but I want to point out that the events against Finland only strengthen us.

Mancini wants to get to know some of the other Under-21 internationals and I need to spend time with them before the Euros, so it’s possible we’ll all work together. We are talking about it.”