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Mancini warns Retegui 'needs time' despite goal in Italy's win over Malta

Tullio Puglia - UEFA / UEFA / Getty

Italy coach Roberto Mancini warned striker Mateo Retegui "needs time" to learn despite the Argentina-born striker scoring for a second successive Euro 2024 qualifier on Sunday.

The 23-year-old qualifies to play for the defending champions courtesy of his Italian grandfather but still plays his club football in Argentina, currently on loan at Tigres from Boca Juniors.

On Sunday, he looked right at home for Italy as he scored the opening goal a 2-0 Group C win in Malta.

His 15th-minute header followed his debut strike in Thursday's 2-1 loss at home to England.

"He unlocked the match, he was essential today," said Mancini.

"But I repeat: he needs time, he still needs to learn more about European football."

Retegui, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and full-back Giovanni De Lorenzo were the only men to keep their places in the starting line-up after the loss to England.

Matteo Pessina added Italy's second goal on Sunday from a cross by Emerson in the 27th minute. 

"These are matches where you have everything to lose," added Mancini.

"We did some good things, some not so good. The important thing was to win. 

"We could have scored more, but there you go. These are particular kinds of matches, where it's difficult to play, you don't have a lot of space."

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