Roberto Mancini is unsure if rivals are worried about Italy ahead of Euro 2020, but feels they may prefer to avoid playing his side at the tournament.
Italy completed a perfect qualifying campaign in Group J with a 9-1 demolition of Armenia in Palermo on Monday.
While their impressive performances are sure to see them considered among the favourites at next year’s showpiece tournament, Mancini feels other nations are ahead of Italy in their growth.
“I don’t know if they are worried or not,” the Italy coach told a news conference.
“I think they are stronger because they are one step ahead with their plan. France started some years ago, they reached a Euro final and won the World Cup. They are young and I think they are one of the strongest teams. Spain the same.
“Belgium in the last five, six years produced a lot of outstanding talents. Then England.
“All those teams stared earlier. Italy has a great history. I don’t think other teams will face Italy easily.
“Maybe they are not scared, buy if they could choose would face another opponent instead of Italy.”
Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Zaniolo scored braces against Armenia, while Nicolo Barella, Alessio Romagnoli, Jorginho, Riccardo Orsolini and Federico Chiesa were also on the scoresheet.
Mancini praised his players for their improvement and hopes there is more to come from Italy at Euro 2020.
“These are all young lads who are improving game by game. Playing at international level brings experience, they’ve got the quality, it’s just a matter of time,” he told Rai Sport.
“We’ll see what happens at Euro 2020. We’d never won all 10 games in a qualifying group, we’ve got six months to prepare for the championship and unfortunately I will have to leave some behind, as I can only bring 23 players.
“If we can continue like this, that would be great.”
The draw for the final tournament will be held on November 30.