International Manager Refuses To Rule Out Return To Serie B Club

Former Italy manager Roberto Mancini has praised Sampdoria’s recent improvement but has refused to rule out a return to the club he played 566 times for in a 15-year stay. 

Mancini is now in charge of Saudi Arabia, but as a player, he won Serie A with Sampdoria, as well as four Coppa Italias and a European Cup Winner’s Cup. In 1992, I Blucerchiati lost the last-ever European Cup final before it was rebranded as the Champions League, with Mancini captaining the side.

He has a vested interest in their success, but they’ve fallen on hard times. Once a top club in Italy, they’re currently languishing in 15th in Serie B following their relegation last season. That’s just one place above the relegation playoff places, although there is a five-point cushion. Looking up the table, there’s just an eight-point gap between them and the last promotion playoff place, something Mancini believes current manager Andrea Pirlo can still guide them to.

“He is doing his best, but it isn’t easy at all,” Mancini told Tuttosport newspaper print edition.“I believe Sampdoria have improved since the start of the season; they are on the right path. Unfortunately, there have been many injuries that affected their results. I think they can still fight for the playoff.”

Whilst they might not be setting Serie B alight right now, they do still have a flame burning in the heart of their former player. It’s not a huge surprise – his son Andrea is the club’s sporting director, and when asked about a return, Mancini didn’t hide his feelings.

Samp is my life, and this is no news,” he said. “For now, it’s early, but I’d love to return one day.”

Mancini, the manager, has been just as successful as Mancini, the player, if not more so. The 59-year-old has won Coppa Italia with three different teams (Lazio, Inter and Fiorentina) as well as three Serie A titles with Inter. He lifted the Premier League with Manchester City and, in 2021, took Italy to European Championship glory at the expense of England.

Site Opinion

Can Sampdoria still fight for the playoffs? It seems like a big ask, but there are positive signs. The club are eighth in the xG table and eighth in the shots per 90 minutes table. They’re creating chances, so there’s always hope of a reprieve, although there’s a worrying gap opening between them and the upper reaches.

One thing is for certain – when the stars do align, and Mancini is out of work when Sampdoria needs a coach, there’s every chance he could get the nod. That said, Andrea Pirlo is a big name, and he’s currently running the show. He has football ideals that might be a little too ideal for the cut and thrust of the second tier, and he will be aiming to build on a reputation that took a little bit of a battering after he left Juventus.

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