Tuesday July 8 2014
Mancini: Italy would be an honour

Roberto Mancini has backed Cesare Prandelli at Galatasaray and opened himself up to the prospect of taking on the Italy job.

The former Inter and Manchester City left Gala at the end of the season to end a brief spell in Turkey and has now been succeeded in the post by Prandelli.

“Prandelli will be fine, he will work at a big club and will fight for the title, being able to take advantage of preseason preparations,” Mancini has considered to the Corriere dello Sport today.

“I arrived during the race, I could not do more, and I was able to oversee a splendid comeback in the Turkish Cup [4-2 down in the semi-final second leg, the team won 7-4 on aggregate before going on to win the competition].

“Prandelli has done well to accept, he will have a good experience with players like Sneijder and Melo.”

Prandelli moves to Istanbul after resigning his post as Italy CT, following a disastrous World Cup campaign.

Mancini has been listed as one of the potential candidates to replace him.

“Those who want me for the Italy bench, it is just rumours, I have not heard from anyone. It’s nice to be among the candidates, as a good nationalist, in the sense that I am proud of my roots when I am abroad.

“Even at Manchester City I was happy to put the Italian brand on the Premier League. To collect achievements abroad appeals to everyone, we have many Coach who have achieved success both in Serie A and elsewhere.

“I repeat that I would love to coach at national level. I think it is part of the objectives of being a Coach.

“There are no boundaries and many foreign Coaches don’t get to represent their country. I would like to coach a national team, not necessarily the Italian side. One of the barriers that we have not yet gone through is a foreign Coach, but that is because it is clear - Italian Coaches are the best in the world, the most prepared, so it is not necessary to look abroad like a club.

“There is no difference between coaching a team every day and a national side once in a while. The only change is in the timing and pace of work. When preparing for a championship, you have to work on the details for the next game.

“With the national team you must be good to use the space allocated. In the end, it is always coaching. You have to make good decisions, but we also have to be skilled in the field, it is a difficult job and full of tension.”

Mancini struggled for regular playing time in the Italy team himself and a dispute with Arrigo Sacchi ahead of the 1994 World Cup saw his international playing career ended prematurely with a self-imposed exile.

“I’ve always said that not going to USA ’94 was my fault, and if I could go back, I would not do the same.

“I’d given up something important, but this is old stuff. We are in another era. Now might be different, but still, no-one has spoken to me, even as of course, Italy is Italy.

“Those who talk about economic problems [in a potential contract as CT] do not know the reality - no-one has called me yet and it is impossible to know how much money I would take or accept.

“To see that Azzurri fans want me as CT makes me proud, it means that I have worked well and I have also left something good in terms of playing style and image.

“We, however, are always ready to destroy everything after a defeat. Two years ago we got the final of a wonderful European Championships.

“The World Cup is decided by episodes and for us things went bad. The red card for Claudio Marchisio [against Uruguay] was not there and the defeat against Costa Rica was the heaviest.”

The 49-year-old was asked if a focus on youth was the way forward for Italy.

“At the Federal level we have to begin with capable, serious people and this is especially relevant as they have all resigned too.

“You need people who know football and know what to do to restart - that would be a good start. Italy produces successful players, including young players.

“I can mention two - Verratti, a starter at PSG at just 19 and a great protagonist at the World Cup, and Immobile, who will go to Dortmund. Playing in Germany, he will grow.

“If I were to become Coach then of course I would call the senatori, such as Pirlo and Buffon. These are absolute champions, how could a Coach leave them at home? The national Coach should call the Italian players that are better than the rest.

“To achieve the objectives, you need the best at that moment.”