When Roberto Mancini became Italy’s football team manager in 2018, none would have expected him to come so far in terms of success. He took the guard after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA world cup. Still, right within a span of just two years, he has achieved the highest win percentage( 69%) by any standing Italy manager in Football history.
Mancini initially signed an incentive-based contract until the end of 2020. Furthermore, the contract held an extension clause should Mancini makes Italy qualify for the Euro 2020. Given the team’s qualification for the same competition lately, his contract has now been extended till 2022.
Mancini’s first victory as an Italian manager came against Saudi Arabia in May 2018. Coming from the disappointment of a World cup qualification failure, the team rejuvenated their spirits with a 2-1 win. Given their 2-0 home victory against Greece, Italy then booked a spot in the Euro 2020.
Riding high on their spirits, Mancini led the team further scoring an impressive 5-0 win over Liechtenstein. As a matter of fact, this came as Italy’s ninth consecutive win, a new record under the management of Robert Mancini.
Italy then set an exceptional record of 10 wins in a single calendar year in 2019. As of now, the team has won 20 matches out of 29 and only lost two of their matches under Mancini’s impeccable leadership. Moreover, they are looking all set to prove their mettle in the Fifa World Cup in 2022.
How Robert Mancini’s astounding managerial style took ‘Gli Azzurri’ to new heights?
Mancini’s unique approach towards the game has helped the Italian team to some great extent. Despite being a support striker during his playing days, the Italian follows the strategy of pushing from the back. He firmly believes that if a team is not conceding a goal, it has all the time to score one.
According to Mancini, “ I like 1–0 wins. When you don’t concede a goal and you have players like Edin Džeko, Carlos Tevez or David Silva, you win 90%. I prefer we are boring for two to three matches and we win 1–0. If you watch teams that won titles, they conceded very few goals”.
Besides achieving all the big success, Mancini’s managerial style has often drawn criticism from many football experts. Fans and rivals quote him as a ‘defence-first manager’ who often believes in ‘parking the bus’ on the pitch.
Still, it’s the results he has achieved with random teams and clubs over the years that speaks volumes about his success. When he became manager to English club Manchester city during the 2011-12 season, many former clubs and experts mocked his coaching style.
He received further criticism for his lacklustre strategies on the front-something that cost the city some crucial points at the end stage of the English premier league. With six games in hands, the city had to catch the deficit of 8 points with table toppers Manchester united.
Amidst all the nervy moments and last-minute drama, Mancini’s men finally claim the title on goal difference. After the victory, the Italian stated that he always believed in his team and their capabilities to win the title. Still, he wanted the players to rise up to the occasion while facing all the pressure and criticism.
Italy coach has admitted that he will switch to club management again after the 2022 Fifa world cup. Regardless, his motivation holds the key to Italy’s chances towards their aspirations for a fifth world cup title.
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