In qualifying for the 2024 European Championship, reigning champions Italy were drawn to face England, the team they defeated in the final last year, and Ukraine on Sunday.
Euro 2024, which will be hosted by Germany, will be Italy’s chance to reclaim some pride after failing to qualify for the World Cup finals, which begin in Qatar in six weeks.
Italy will also face North Macedonia, the country that eliminated them from the World Cup in the Palermo playoffs in March.
“It’s one of those once-in-a-while matches, and as we saw in Palermo, we have to take every match seriously, even the simplest,” Mancini told RAI Sport.
France, who will defend their world title in Qatar, will be pitted against the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland in Group B, while Spain will face Scotland and Erling Haaland’s Norway in Group A.
France has bad memories of playing Ireland, whom they only beat to reach the World Cup finals in 2010 thanks to what appeared to be a handball by Thierry Henry.
France coach Didier Deschamps said, “It’s a pretty heavy group, a group with value.”
“As usual, we’ll have to win and outperform our opponents.”
Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be 39 by the time the finals begin, are in Group J with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland.
Croatia, the 2018 World Cup runner-up, is in Group D with World Cup qualifiers Wales and Turkey.
Denmark, another team going to Qatar, is in Group H with Finland, Slovenia, and Northern Ireland.
Russia is barred from participating due to its invasion of Ukraine.
Germany, the three-time European champion, automatically qualifies as the hosts.
The Euro 2024 finals will be held in ten German cities from June 14 to July 14, as the tournament returns to a single-country format after a multi-country format for Euro 2020.