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Roberto Mancini: I would have stayed 10 more years

Roberto Mancini emphasizes that he would have willingly remained as the coach of the Italy squad for another 10 years.

The coach discussed his decisions, including the choice to depart the Azzurri in August for a new role with Saudi Arabia, during an interview on the television show “Che Tempo Che Fa.”

He was questioned about whether he regretted or reproached himself for anything he had done during that period.

“No. It is sad when these things happen, sometimes a coach is sacked, sometimes he resigns.” said Roberto Mancini.

“I was very happy as the CT of Italy, I would’ve gladly stayed another 10 years. But I am also happy in Saudi Arabia, even if it is really hard work. I have only managed to learn a few words of Arabic.”

This month marks a year since the passing of Roberto Mancini’s best friend Vialli from pancreatic cancer. Vialli had been Mancini’s teammate and later a member of his coaching staff when Italy won the EURO 2020 tournament.

“We had wonderful years together, we were young and had a lot of fun. I always feel that he is by my side. Fraternal friendship goes beyond everything.” said Roberto Mancini.

“Vialli was also very important for the European Championship victory. Luca had such amazing charisma. One day when we were players, he came galloping onto the pitch as if he was on horse, it was so funny. We won that match and so he continued doing it for a few games afterwards, to bring good luck.”

The months leading up to his departure from the Italy squad were emotionally challenging, as Roberto Mancini not only lost his best friend Vialli to pancreatic cancer but also experienced the loss of another close friend, Sinisa Mihajlovic, to leukaemia.

Mancini and Vialli forged a strong friendship during their time as the “Goal Twins” at Sampdoria. They achieved success together, winning an unexpected Scudetto and reaching the European Cup Final.

“Since the day I left, it has always been my dream to return to Sampdoria. I was there for 15 years, that is a long time. I would love it. The secret of that team that won the Scudetto was that we were all friends, and we remained friends, even if we don’t get to see each other often.”

Alex Lundy
Alex Lundy
A lifelong football fan, Alex loves to dabble in its history, especially FIFA World Cup. But his love for sports doesn't end at football since he loves watching NBA and Formula1 too. Reading novels and watching classic films takes the rest of his time.
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