Reversing Italy’s fortunes
Former Sampdoria forward and Inter and Manchester City Coach Roberto Mancini is now tasked with reversing Italy’s fortunes. Heres a snapshot of his career…
Swapping for Samp
Roberto Mancini’s switch to the Marassi in 1982 to wear the shirt of Sampdoria proved decisive in shaping his career as both a player and Coach. Spending nearly 15 seasons there, amassing more than 400 appearance and scoring 132 goals, the forward’s stellar play was at the heart of a very special 1990-91 title campaign and six additional trophies to stock ‘La Samp’s’ cabinet throughout his tenure.
Mancini’s move to the Italian capital in 1997 eventually led him to further bolster his CV when Lazio lifted the 1999-00 Scudetto and Coppa Italia to complete a domestic double. Along the way, Mancini continued to fill his trophy case, but under Sven-Goran Eriksson’s wing, demonstrated the will to one day become a trainer himself by undertaking several daily duties with the club.
Hardship in Florence and Rome
After hanging up his boots after a short spell in England with Leicester City, Mancini coached at Fiorentina and Lazio, where financial troubles and supporter angst tested his mental strength to work under difficult circumstances. In spite of such trying times, Mancini managed to win two Coppa Italia honours, before eventually winning the trust of Inter President Massimo Moratti to coach the Nerazzurri.
Serie A dominance
Under more manageable terms, Mancini led the black and blue back to the summit of Italian football, winning the Coppa Italia in his first season. Following the Calciopoli scandal, Juventus were stripped of the title, which went to Inter, making the 2005-06 League crown their first since the 1988-89 campaign. Inter would two more Scudetti under his watch [06-07, 07-08], but failure to progress in the Champions League led to his sacking.
Mancini’s brief taste of English football, believe it or not, fuelled his passion and desire to take the bench at Manchester City in 2009. With lofty ambitions under wealthy new owners, he eventually repaid their trust in him by winning the Premier League title over rivals Manchester United in 2011-12 – their first since 1967-68.
For the duration of his stellar playing career, and for multiple reasons, Mancini never was able to enjoy the same success for the national team as for his clubs. From not featuring in World Cup 1990 on home soil under Azeglio Vicini to a falling out with Arrigo Sacchi in 1994, Mancini was limited to just 36 senior appearances. More than two decades later, however, he returns to the Azzurri with more pressure now than ever before to deliver.