Zenit boss Roberto Mancini open to national team role

By: Aveek Chakraborty
Roberto Mancini

Bengaluru, January 10: Former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has hinted that he is open to taking the vacant national team role if given the chance.

Italy head coach Gian Piero Ventura was sacked in November after the Azzurri failed to book a place in the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Soon after the sacking, Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio also stepped down from his position and currently there is no one at the helm at the national side.

As the FIGC want an experienced coach, club managers like Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte and Mancini have been linked with the job recently and to this speculation, the 53-year-old has now responded.

The veteran manager is currently in Russia with Zenit Saint Petersburg and suggested that he is happy at his club, however, also hinted that he is not taking himself out of the vacant role should his country come calling just six months after taking charge at Zenit.

"Before choosing the coach, it seems to me that we have to choose a the new FIGC president," the 53-year-old told Mediaset.

"But I absolutely do not exclude coaching Italy. I think like other coaches – you can never exclude anything."

Mancini added: "My experience in Russia is going. We started well, then had a difficult spell and we'll restart the league in second place. We hope to make up ground on Lokomotiv."

After 20 games Zenit are currently second, eight points adrift of Lokomotiv Moscow in the Russian Premier League. They are right now on a mid-season break and once the season resumes, they will face Scottish giants Celtic in Europa league round of 32 in February.

Read more about: football roberto mancini italy zenit
Story first published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 14:04 [IST]
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