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In this article I want to present you Roberto Mancini, the manager of Manchester City as well as possible because I honestly think that he’s among the best managers in the world. I’ll explain you why I think that and I’ll also tell you about his career in this portrait.
I decided to write an article about Roberto Mancini on 27th of September when ManCity was playing away in the Champions League against Bayern Munich. Even though they lost 2:0, they weren’t playing as bad as the media reported after the game. I was really impressed by their way of defending against Bayern in the first 30 minutes, of which more later.
Roberto Mancini was born on November 27th 1964 in a small town on the Italian east coast, called Jesi. He was raised a Roman catholic and his childhood was characterized by religion and football. He was playing for the local Aurora Calcio football team and pretty dedicated to his sport. Once, during his Holy Communion, the eight year old Roberto suddenly disappeared. The priest who was Mancini’s coach had heard that their team was about to lose at half time and so he asked Mancini whether he had his football boots and kit with him or not. Actually, the little boy had everything in the changing rooms and so he left the ceremony to help his team mates who needed him. I think that’s a great story that shows his dedication to football that he had already in his early years.
The 47 year old Italian was a pretty successful football player. He was a striker and has scored 156 goals in 545 appearances for 4 different clubs. He was called up 26 times (9 goals) for the Italian U21 and 36 times (4 goals) for the senior national team. Those stats might not sound very impressive but he did win quite a lot of trophies. Furthermore you shouldn’t forget that Italy has always been famous for its Catenaccio, this extremely defensive tactical system.
Mancini made his debut in the Serie A for FC Bologna with only 17 years. He scored 9 goals in 30 matches and was bought by Sampdoria in the following year. Genoa payed a transfer fee of 2.2 million Euro.
After his move to Sampdoria, he stayed 16 years in the north Italian city. He played 424 matches in which he scored 132 goals. He helped Genoa to win their only championship title in 1991 and in the same year he also won the Italian Supercup (Supercoppa Italiana) He was more successful in the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) though which he won 6 times. In 1990 he even won the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup with Sampdoria Genoa.
Roberto Mancini also won two individual prices during his time in Genoa: he won the Guerin d’Oro twice in 1988 and 1991 which shows that he had been an important player when his team won the league title.
The Guerin d’Oro is an annual prize, a trophy that is awarded to the best player in the Serie A. This player must have played at least 19 games (half of the season) and the player with the best average-media rating wins the Guerin d’Oro.
In 1997 Mancini decided to sign at Lazio Rom who payed 4 million € for him. At Lazio he
won his second Scudetto and his seventh Coppa Italia in 2000. He also his second UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup title in 1999. He played 87 matches until 2000 and scored 15 goals in those 3 years. In the last season tho, he hadn’t scored in 20 successive matches and that’s why heretired and became Sven-Goran Eriksson’s second assistant coach. This was the first time he was part of a coaching staff and shows that he already knew a lot about tactics back then.
In January 2001 Roberto Mancini joined Leicester City but he didn’t even stay for two months. He made 5 appearances and didn’t score any goal. In early February he left England citing personal problems and on St. Valentine’s day he told his coach he wouldn’t come back to England because Fiorentina had offered him a job as manager.
His international career tho, was pretty disappointing. He only scored 4 goals in 36 caps which isn’t good at all for a striker. However, he was member of the Italian team for the World Cup in 1990 but he didn’t play at all. 4 years later he ended his international career after a dispute with the national team coach Arrigo Sacchi because he couldn’t guarantee Mancini a first place at the World Cup in the USA.
Roberto Mancini has coached 4 different teams so far. Just like his playing career, his managerial career has been pretty successful as well. In his 386 matches as coach for Fiorentina, Lazio Rom, Inter Milan and Manchester City, his players have won on an average 1,65 points a game, scored 1,65 goals a game and conceded 1,25 goals a match. His success rate is 56,74% win, 25,13% draw and 18,13% defeat.
As already said, Mancini left Leicester City after not even two months to become manager in Florence. He needed a special dispensation from the Italian football authorities to be able to manage Fiorentina though, because he had not the necessary coaching license back then. When he came to Florence, the football club was already almost bankrupt. Sometimes Mancini even played himself and also worked unpaid for a while. This shows his passion for football again. Many other manager would have left.
When he had to sell Rui Costa and Francesco Toldo because the club needed money, he even received death threats. Despite all those financial problems, Mancini did win the Coppa Italia before leaving the club in January 2002. He had been coach for only 10 months and had to leave because Fiorentina was in the relegation zone of the Seria A.
In May 2002 he was hired by Lazio Rom which he had already coached as assistant coach some years before. Again a club with serious financial problems had signed him but again Mancini could brave these obstacles: In his first season with Lazio he reached the semi-finals of the UEFA cup and he won the Coppa Italia with them in 2003/2004.
In 2004 Massimo Moratti, Inter Milan’s president offered Mancini the job as manager. Mancini immediately accepted the contract and in his first season in Northern Italy Mancini won the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana, finished third in the Seria A and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The win of the Coppa Italia was the first domestic trophy for Inter since 1989.
In 2005/2006 Inter won every Italian trophy and finished second in the Seria A but resulting from the match-fixing scandal in that season, Juventus was stripped of the Scudetto and so Inter won the league as well.
During the following season Mancini’s players had a record-breaking run of 17 consecutive wins in the Serie A. This run lasted almost 5 months and in the end of the season Inter won the Scudetto with 97 points. Another European record was broken. (Meanwhile it had been broken again in 2010 by Barcelona.) This time Inter only won the Scudetto, they lost both finals of Italian Cups against AS Roma and in the Champions League Inter was already knocked out in the first round by Valencia.
In 2007/2008 Mancini added a third consecutive Scudetto to Inter’s collection of trophies but again this was the only title for Mancini and his players. In the end of that season Moratti announced sacking of Mancini because Inter’s performances in the Champions League had been rubbish again (knocked out in the second round by Liverpool). Mancini left the club, Mourinho came and we all know the end of the story.
In the following months Mancini was linked to many clubs such as Bayern Munich, FC Chelsea and Notts County.
Then, in December 2009 Mancini took over Manchester City and signed a contract over 3 and a half years. He won his first 4 games with the Sky Blues. Manchester City finished that season on the 5th place, the highest Premier League finish ever.
In 2010/2011 Mancini bought many players for more than 100 million Euro and ManCity reached the semi finals of the Euro League, finished third in the Premier League and won the FA Cup.
Mancini has been pretty successful thanks to his rather defensive tactics. His teams rarely concede goals and are very well organized.
They already press forward in the opponent’s half, seen against Bayern Munich. Bayern was struggling a lot in those first 30 minutes on 27th of September 2011 and could’ve conceded some goals if ManCity had been more determined. But as we all know Bayern won 2:0 in the end. Mancini’s tactics are still great and it’s not for nothing that the Sky Blues are top favorites for the championship title since their forward line has become on of the best in Europe thanks to the Sheiks’ money but also thanks to Mancini’s tactics.
Thanks a lot for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂 Some comments and votes (stars above the article) would be a great Christmas present. 😉
MERRY CHRISTMAS! 😀