No large gap between Italy and world’s best – Jorginho
The Azzurri start their Nations League campaign at home to Poland on Friday.
Italy midfielder Jorginho has revealed he steered clear of this summer’s World Cup but believes the Azzurri are not far away from the top international sides despite failing to qualify for the finals in Russia.
Beaten by Sweden in a play-off, the four-time winners missed out on the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
They will continue their revolution under Roberto Mancini with their opening Nations League clash with Poland on Friday night.
A 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia is the only victory from Mancini’s opening three games at the helm but Chelsea’s Jorginho feels there is not much ground to be made up on the best teams in the world.
“I didn’t watch much of the World Cup because I was so disappointed not to be there,” he told a pre-match press conference.
“But I don’t think there’s such a large gap between us and the teams that did well in Russia.”
Jorginho – who followed manager Maurizio Sarri in leaving Napoli for Stamford Bridge over the summer – also insists there is plenty of desire to address recent issues.
“Italy do not deserve to be where it currently finds itself,” he added.
“We are very motivated and want to get back to winning ways, and all the ingredients to do so are there.
“We need to stay grounded, but we can look to the future with confidence because we have so many good youngsters. Our enthusiasm is increasing and for the group it’s essential to feel at ease with each other and to joke amongst ourselves.
“We will continue to work hard to win games and get people back on our side.”
Unlike their hosts, Poland will go into the contest in Bologna having been a part of the World Cup.
However, after defeats to Senegal and Colombia, they finished bottom of Group H.
Former international midfielder Jerzy Brzeczek has been appointed as the new coach to improve on those performances.
“We do not deal with the past because we have no influence on it,” he said ahead of his first game in charge.
“Everyone connected with Polish football had to be disappointed, but digging up all of this would not serve any purpose.
“At the World Cup something did not work…but I believe that our team has the potential and we want to show it, as well as regain the faith of the fans. Only the future counts for us.”