Mancini defends himself against criticism: "I haven’t killed anyone"

Mancini defends himself against criticism: "I haven't killed anyone"

Nothing less than a bang was heard a few days ago when this news reached Italy’s football: Roberto Mancini, coach of the 2021 European champions, resigned from his post with immediate effect. A year before the European Championships in Germany and only a short time after gaining more power in the Italian federation FIGC.

What happened? What had led to this consistent step?

Initially it was said that Mancini had succumbed to a call from Saudi Arabia. The common football people were also angry because the 58-year-old had always presented himself clearly with visions for the Italian Calcio since he took office in 2018 – and now apparently just dropped them like a hot potato. Because of his fresh mind, Mancini was confirmed in his position despite missing out on the World Cup again last year.

“Senza scuse”

But now he was suddenly gone, the “commissario tecnico della nazionale”. Criticism remained. Also from the usual clear media like the “Gazetta dello Sport”, which made a “Senza scuse”. Mancini’s sudden resignation is simply inexcusable. After all, this job is not just about football, but about values, about responsibility for the nation.

And the former coach of Inter Milan, Manchester City or Zenit St. Petersburg simply did not fulfill this responsibility.

But what exactly was the reason? It is rumored that Mancini has received an offer to become Saudi Arabia’s new coach – for €120m over three years. For comparison: Most recently as coach of the Squadra Azzurra, he received four million euros net.

“Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with my resignation”

However, Mancini vehemently rejected the accusation that he only decided against continuing to work with the Azzurri because of the money – and all other critical voices as well.

“I didn’t kill anyone, I deserve respect – and I don’t deserve the criticism I’ve been confronted with,” said the 58-year-old in an interview with “Corriere dello Sport”. In addition, he also denied in this breath that an offer from Saudi Arabia was the reason for his departure: “For me, the Italian national team has always had priority. After many years as a coach, I have received various offers that I have in will review in the next few weeks, but nothing concrete at the moment. Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with my resignation.”

Rather, differences of opinion with the head of the association, Gabriele Gravina, were the decisive reason.

spalletti? Conte?

Incidentally, this resignation was not Mancini’s first surprise: there was one around 2018. Inter Milan had just flown out of the Champions League round of 16 (0: 2 and 0: 1 against Liverpool) when Mancini announced his resignation at the press conference announced – despite a contract that he had recently extended by four years. Because then there were no offers from abroad, the coach completed his resignation from the resignation. And FC Internazionale? Took Mancini at his word and put him out the door.

Luciano Spalletti

Has led Napoli to the long-awaited third championship this year: Luciano Spalletti.
IMAGO/Inside photo

But back to the victims of this resignation, the Italian Football Association FIGC. About a year before the European Championship and shortly before the defending champion’s qualification for the European Championship, which will soon continue, he must quickly find a successor.

At the top of the list is said to be Luciano Spalletti, despite having recently resigned as SSC Napoli champion coach and taken a sabbatical. In this case, however, the southern Italians, where the 64-year-old is officially still employed, demand a transfer fee of 2.65 million euros. According to media reports, this is apparently contractually fixed if the football teacher takes on a new job in the 2023/24 season. The FIGC, which should also think about a return campaign by Antonio Conte (without a club, national coach of the Squadra Azzurra between 2014 and 2016), is of the opinion that the fee only applies to a change at club level.

It’s about the principle.

Napoli’s announcement that they will not release Luciano Spalletti

In a statement on Tuesday, however, the Neapolitans underlined that the coach could not simply be released from the national team without receiving a fee, even under these circumstances. So it says here: “It’s about the principle.”

So it remains exciting to see how Italian football will react to Mancini’s departure and what kind of job he will do in the future.


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