Roberto Mancini is reinventing Italy

Even before the final showdown at EM 2021, Roberto Mancini entered the history books.

The Italian coach and his team have not lost in 33 consecutive matches. A feat not even legendary coaches Vittorio Pozzo and Marcello Lippi could achieve. Perhaps a much greater achievement is what Mancini has achieved from a fallen side in the past three years before the title duel with England came. (European Championship Final: Italy-England, Sunday 9pm at LIVETICKER)

Because “Mr. Italy” is like him Corriere dello Sport Deliberate after moving to the final, not only did his team return to the top of the world.

It also gave the Squadra Azzurra a whole new face. The old image of Catenaccio covered the sometimes ugly defensive football of many ancestors. From under the rubble, the former Manchester City boss has built a team that is a source of enthusiasm far beyond its national borders.

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With attack-like attacks, exciting duels and a team spirit that is second to none.

Gattuso: Italy has never done this before

“You’ve never seen ideas like his in the national team,” Gennaro Gattuso, the Italian world champion since 2006, recently said of the successful team engineer. Even the legendary former coach of the national team Arrigo Sacchi considers him a pioneering leader for an entire country: “In a very short time he managed to introduce modern football. I hope he will let all Italian coaches go in the same direction.”

Mancini gave Italy a whole new style. The 56-year-old has long been known as a style icon.

Casual jackets, tie, winner selfie. “Like a Prada model,” German tennis player Andrea Petkovic said on Twitter. She is not alone in this opinion. Mancini is undoubtedly one of the faces of this European Championship. The Sun He even introduced the Italian as a model on the double page.

Even the players didn’t believe in Mancini’s vision

With the start of the tournament, his team played its lead. The 3-0 win over Turkey was impressive, the 3-0 win over Switzerland was even more impressive.

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After an impeccable group stage, the team underperformed in the 2-1 win over Austria, but in duels with big countries Belgium (2-1) and Spain, the team once again emphasized its many strengths. Although Mancini incorporated many young players into the squad, the group was calm and always ready to fight.

The coach gave this football-mad country hope for a big hit. Now they all believe in him, at first not even their players believed in him.

“It’s ironic that we also thought he was crazy at first when he asked us to turn our attention to winning the European Championship,” said Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini. However, the coach led them to the final. “Now we are facing what we dreamed of three years ago. What the coach gradually pushed to us has become a reality.”

Mancini can not only dress well, but also find the right words – often filled with emotions, sometimes with philosophical content and a lot of patriotic pity. Even before the tournament, he had pulled the Italians to the side of the national team, which has given them little fun lately.

There, Mancini said: “We started winning the European title that we’ve lost since 1968. The title could be a rebirth for football and for the whole country. It’s time for people to smile.” Before the tournament began, he wrote an open letter: “United under one blue sky… We play with the responsibility of representing one of the most powerful and beautiful countries in the world. We want to have fun.”

After a few days, his homeland was finally under his feet.

The roots of a successful coach

After the Squadra Azzurra could not qualify for the World Cup in Russia in 2018, Italy wrote of a “national team in ruins” or even “the end of the world”.

Since Mancini took office in 2018, the change has begun and has now been successfully implemented.

The main reason for this rapid change – football fans and experts in Italy agree – is the experienced coach who has dedicated his entire football career.

Mancini was born to a carpenter’s son in a discreet mountain village in the Marche region. At the age of thirteen he was forcibly left home and sent to FC Bologna boarding school. He regularly devised escape plans but kept on until he was 16 years old. Then the great “Mancio” career began.

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Mancio means something like “hook”. The nickname describes the talented young man’s playing style. He was later referred to as “Fantasista” – a free spirit on the field. As dozens of creative people, as a magician on the lawn. In this role, he charmed Italian football. Technically strong, always with an idea, rude to a duel and without any fear.

Example Dolce Vita

When the attacking player was 19 years old, he went on an international trip with the Italians for the first time. It was in the United States in 1984 – Italy was the world champion at the time, and about Mancini were none other than the greats of world football. In New York, Mancini got what was probably the biggest bullshit of his career.

He and his colleagues visited the legendary Studio 54 in New York and stayed there until the early hours of the morning. When the young man returned, world champion coach Enzo Berzot was already waiting for him. He has a responsibility to his parents: “I will not call you again, even if you score 40 goals this season.”

This shouldn’t be the last game for Mancini’s national team, but his international career suffered as a result. “He just had to apologize,” Burzot later said. But Mancini did not.

Roberto Mancini (right) in an international match against Germany in 1988 © imago

The story underscores the kind of free, energetic spirit that Mancini has been in throughout his life. Today he is the proud owner of a yacht and celebrates the Italian way of life like no other. Mancini can be described as the epitome of Dolce Vita.

Sweetheart has many fans

As a player, Mancini spent many years in Genoa and also played in Bologna, Lazio and Leicester City. At the end of his career, he was introduced as a coach for the Florence club. Since then, he has hardly taken any noteworthy breaks. He was particularly successful with Inter Milan (a total of seven titles), with Manchester City’s Mancini celebrating their legendary last-minute championship in 2012.

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Roberto Mancini in a Sampdoria Genoa shirt
Roberto Mancini in a Sampdoria Genoa shirt © imago

With his charisma, style and personality, he has attracted people under the influence of his spell for decades. Many celebrities appeared in Italy – but also in other countries – as Mancini fans. When the Italian separated from his wife, Frederica, about six years ago, the playboy’s playmate immediately entered the conversation as the future “Misses Mancini.”

April Summers said on her social media channels at the time, “If you asked me if I wanted to be his wife, I’d say yes without thinking about it. I love him, he’s beautiful, talented, and kind.”

“Magic has no limits”

Most important for Mancini is his ability to impress an entire team with his ultimate personality. He has always retained his charm and remains a free spirit to this day. This resonates with many players who often feel misunderstood and lost in the modern world of football. Mancini has remained one of them – and yet he is a very special kind.

Combined with his phenomenal professional experience as a football player and football teacher, he now appears to have a great chance of winning a major title with the Italian national team. In this way, he will make up his own story with the “Nacional”. After the inaugural win over Switzerland, he pushed Italy’s favorite role aside, but he has long been confident. It also had to be a move by an experienced coach.

In Italy, they have been dreaming of leading Mancini to the European Championship since the beginning of the European Championship. He wrote: “We survived the end of the world and are now dreaming of the greatest.” Gazzetta dello sport: “Magic knows no bounds.”

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