ROME: Former Manchester City and Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini has been given the job of reviving the fortunes of Italy’s national team, the Italian football federation (FIGC) confirmed on Monday.
Italy have been without a permanent coach since Gian Piero Ventura was sacked after the four-time world champions failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup for the first time in 60 years after losing a playoff to Sweden last November.
The 53-year-old’s task will be to rebuild the national side and to qualify for the 2020 European championship.
Italian FA commissioner Roberto Fabbricini said Mancini has been chosen because he “had a great desire to sit on the Italy bench and he proved it in a concrete way.”
“It went the way we wanted, we are happy and Roberto is happy,” Mancini told journalists after the contract was signed in Rome.
“Tomorrow will be the official presentation at Coverciano, it will be the formalisation of a long-standing discussion.
“We’ll explain everything about the contract tomorrow, hes very happy and so are we.”
Mancini arrived in Rome on Monday morning after leaving Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg at the weekend.
He will hold his first press conference on Tuesday at 12:00 (1000GMT) at the national team’s training centre at Coverciano near Florence.
Mancini led Manchester City to their first English league title in 44 years in 2012, and won three Serie A titles with Inter Milan. He also won Italian Cups with Inter, Fiorentina and Lazio.
Since leaving Etihad Stadium in 2013, Mancini also managed Galatasaray and Inter Milan before joining Zenit in June 2017.
Fabbricini added: “Tomorrow he will explain to you how he’ll organise his work, starting with these first (friendly) matches.”
The Italy squad will convene on May 22 ahead of friendlies against Saudi Arabia (May 28), France (June 1) and the Netherlands (June 4).
Mancini, a former Lazio and Sampdoria forward, had said coaching the national side would be “extraordinary” and would allow him to fulfil his dream of winning the World Cup.
He never became a regular with Italy during his 10-year international career, during which he won 36 caps and scored four goals.
He reached the semi-finals of Euro 1988, and was in the squad that finished third in the 1990 World Cup on home soil.
Luigi di Biagio had stepped up from the Under-21s to take interim charge of the senior national side but will now make way for Mancini. -- AFP