Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Mancini to sign Italy contract today

Roberto Mancini Roberto Mancini had been widely expected to be given the Italy job Credit getty images
Ellis Copeland | 16 May, 2018, 03:03

It is for the first time Italy failed to qualify for the tournament since 1958.

Speaking at his presentation in Florence on Tuesday, Mancini says "Mario is an Italian player".

Mancini, a gifted forward in his playing days, won a surprisingly modest 36 caps for Italy and never played at a World Cup, although he was an unused member of the 1990 squad. I want to thank the Coaches I had as a player, they were very important.

"It wasn't the luckiest period, but I was at Coverciano for a long time". "I'm proud, for someone like me who came to Coverciano with the Under-14s in 1978, becoming Coach of the national team is one of the most lovely things that could happen". I think that it's the right moment for me.

"There are a lot of players in Italy, even in hard times we can find players with quality". "I want to bring Italy back to where it belongs - on top of the world and Europe".

Mancini is replacing Gian Piero Ventura, who was sacked in November after four-time champion Italy lost a World Cup playoff to Sweden.

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His first matches in charge will come against Saudi Arabia on May 28, France on June 1 and the Netherlands on June 4.

The former Manchester City coach signs a two-year deal with a view to qualify for Euro 2020.

The 27-year-old has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup, but has rebuilt his reputation with Nice in Ligue 1 after hard spells with Liverpool and AC Milan.

According to Sky, Roberto Mancini met with Italian FA cub-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta on Monday to discuss terms. "I will certainly speak with Balotelli also".

Missing out on Russian Federation 2018 caused significant soul-searching in the country, but Mancini sees a road back.

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup. Same too with former Italy manager Antonio Conte, who may lose his Chelsea appointment this summer. "This is what will unite people more than anything".

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