Mancini takes charge of Italy

Mancini takes charge of Italy

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has been named as the new manager of Italy.

Mancini, 53, has managed Galatasaray and Zenit St Petersburg since leading Manchester City to their first Premier League title in 2012. He replaces Gian Piero Ventura who was sacked in November after they failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Balotelli has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup, but he featured under Mancini at Inter Milan and Manchester City.

Ranked 20th in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, Italy will look to return to the big stage by securing qualification for UEFA EURO 2020. Carlo Ancelotti appeared to be the number one choice for the role, however the former Bayern boss reportedly turned down the opportunity to take the job due to an apparent dislike for some of the internal politics within the Italian FA.

Roberto Mancini aims to rebuild the Italian national team that failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. "We'll certainly talk with Mario and we'll probably bring him", the newly-appointed boss continued, discussing upcoming friendlies with Saudi Arabia, France and the Netherlands.

"Everything went as we wanted".

In Mancini, Italy has a coach with a solid track record as a title-winner with 13 trophies in club football. Mancini says "Mario is an Italian player".

Since then Mancini has guided Galatasary to Turkish Cup glory before steadying the ship in his second stint at Inter Milan.

He never became a regular with Italy having a love-hate relationship with the national side during his 10-year worldwide playing career, during which he won 36 caps and scored 4 goals.