Roberto Mancini discussed his playing career, “tactically unevolved” Premier League and why it was right to leave Inter. “The new owners didn’t know about Italian football.”
The Coach had a long interview with the Corriere dello Sport and you can read the rest of it here.
“It was a good experience at Inter, anyway. I worked for a year-and-a-half, we built a good team and then we broke up because in my view we no longer had the right conditions to work together.
“When you are in a moment of transition, when the owner of the club changes and people arrive from a different continent who don’t know about Italian football, it becomes difficult to work and let them understand that with just a small push this Inter could’ve challenged for the top.
“After a while, we realised it was better to just go our separate ways. Perhaps it was best for everyone.”
Mancini also looked back over his playing career, mistakes made and lessons learned.
“Tarcisio Burgnich is the Coach who gave me my debut at Bologna, so I have enormous admiration for him. It was not easy at that time to field a 16-year-old in Serie A.
“I went on international duty for the first time with Enzo Bearzot in 1984, at the age of 20. I went out one night in New York, when we were on tour. He got really angry and I did not call him to apologise, so I missed out on the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
“With Azeglio Vicini we went on to play in Euro ’88 and the 1990 World Cup, then I could’ve been there in 1994, but there was a change of Coach. Unfortunately back then we had a lot of talented players and someone had to be left out. So it was me.
“I did have a good rapport with Arrigo Sacchi, but he preferred other players and I made a mistake by leaving international football.
“The biggest let-down of my career was Sampdoria’s European Cup Final defeat to Barcelona. That was devastating, especially as it happened in extra time. I’ve never watched that game back, as it was too painful.
“We knew that would be our one and only chance for a Final like that, so the regret and anger was immense. But that’s part of the sport, you can’t win all the time. I had 20 years at a top level and don’t see any moment as bad, even the defeats.
“My greatest fortune is having won in cities where it was difficult or rare to win. That makes it even more special.”
Now Mancini is a Coach himself and won silverware both in Italy and England with Manchester City.
“Becoming a Coach is like continuing the life of a Serie A player in a different way, because it’s hard to detach yourself from that life.
“The first thing I tell my squad is to think positive, to remember our team has to attack, have fun and play in a forward-thinking way. I can’t stand it when I see players train badly, because at times they don’t realise how lucky they are. It’s a short career and, when they retire, they’ll regret those moments.
“My experience in England was wonderful. The games are entertaining, the teams don’t really focus on defending because they are tactically unevolved, people go to enjoy themselves and consequently the players realise it doesn’t matter if they win or lose.”