Former Inter Milan coach Mircea Lucescu feels that Nerazzurri midfielder Nicolo Barella is “not enough on his own” to lead the Italy national team.

Lucescu gave his thoughts on Barella’s role with the Azzurri in yesterday’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, via FCInterNews, following a dismal exit from EURO 2024.

Italy’s loss to Switzerland in the EURO 2024 round of sixteen has, inevitably, prompted a major inquest.

It was not just the fact that Italy have lost which is the issue. That can always happen in football.

Rather, the manner of the Azzurri’s defeat at the hands of Switzerland has laid bare the issues with the current group of players.

Despite Italy going into this summer’s tournament as reigning champions, they never really looked convincing.

The Azzurri required a dramatic late equalizer against Croatia in order to scrape out of the group stage.

And then that only delayed the humiliation. Against Switzerland, Italy looked second best, in and out of possession.

Both in terms of individual performances and as a collective, Switzerland looked superior. And this resulted in more and better chances for the Swiss – who were not flattered by the 2-0 scoreline.

Mircea Lucescu: “Nicolo Barella Not Enough On His Own To Lead Italy”

Italy’s performance suggested that there is a vacuum of leadership in the squad.

This is not altogether surprising considering that many of the most decorated players from the Azzurri squad have recently retired.

Former coach Lucescu remarked that “The generational change has been underway for years.”

“If you try to build a team without experienced players, there’s only so much that the coach can change,” he said.

“The win at the Euros three years enough wasn’t enough to give them impetus.”

He argued that Italy “need players with personality.”

“Who’s the leader at the moment?” Lucescu poised. “Barella? With all due respect to him, he’s not enough on his own to build the group around.”

“In recent years Italy has failed to do so. Teams like Romania and Ukraine have – but not Italy? Why?”