Bonucci: England youngsters better equipped than Italians

Leonardo Bonucci said England's youngsters are more experienced than Italy's as he called for patience following the Azzurri's failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Bonucci and Italy will go head-to-head with Russia-bound England in an international friendly at Wembley on Tuesday.

It will be another step on Italy's rebuilding path after they sensationally missed out on World Cup qualification for the first time since 1958.

And AC Milan star Bonucci praised Gareth Southgate's side as he warned that Italy require time to return to the top following last week's 2-0 loss against Argentina.

"We are playing against a team that managed to undergo change very well. They are a very talented group of young players who have a lot of international experience," said Bonucci.

"We have many young players who have less international experience. Also the level of Serie A: we play less in Europe and get less experience than the Premier League.

"We need enthusiasm but we need to see things for what they are. We are undergoing a major change and we cannot be expected to start winning straight away. We have the possibility to create problems for this English team.

"We have a much younger team with not much international experience. You cannot compare our players born in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 compared to the England players born in the same years.

"These friendlies are useful for the younger players to manage games. People need to understand that patience is the key. We need to let young players grow and hopefully they will take us back to the Italy we were used to."

 

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