Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport
The Mancini phenomenon. You are a fashion icon, not only for the way you wear your Man City scarf.
“People copy me, from my scarf to my parka, the jacket with the hood lined with fur. Everybody’s happy, them and me”.
Especially if you reach fourth position in the Premier League.
“We’re on the right track, but there’s still a lot to work to do. Two months are not enough to change a team”.
Manchester United were very happy on Wednesday night…
“It had gone badly for Milan in the first leg already. It’s always difficult to win at Old Trafford, even more so if you’re two goals down to begin with. And yet Milan had started well. But it was hard to score and Rooney’s 1-0 made it impossible”.
“He’s the best player in the world, together with Messi. He scores a lot, he works for the team, he’s got a wide-ranging intelligence”.
How much of Manchester United is Rooney?
“A lot, but it’s not only him. The other Red Devils are good too. Rooney is the most important player, but all the others are also strong. Did you see Park? He was always on Pirlo, not to let him play, and he even scored”.
Fiorentina and Milan are out of the Champions League. Is this the crisis of Italian Football?
“It’s the same old story every time Italian teams are out of the Champions League. What about Real Madrid? They crashed out at the same stage, once again”.
The English teams are advancing. Is the Premier League a model to be followed?
“It’s more competitive than Serie A. There’s four big teams competing continually (although Liverpool slipped at the beginning). And there’s a ght to reach the Champions League positions. Every match is a battle, even against the last teams in the league”.
Are Inter the only big team in Italy?
“They’ve been leading for years. It’s time for the other clubs to get stronger players if they want to start winning again”.
Is it a matter of money?
“Unfortunately money is needed. It helps, but it isn’t everything”.
As far as money is concerned, you’re in a good situation with the Sheikh’s Man City.
“You can also buy good players that are not so expensive”.
Balotelli – Is he needed for the Italian national team?
“I believe he can go to the World Cup. I think he has a good chance to be among Lippi’s 23 men”.
What about Inter versus Chelsea on Tuesday?
“It will be a different match from the first leg. At San Siro Chelsea played better, At Stamford Bridge Inter is starting the match with an important advantage. It also depends on who Ancelotti plays. But Chelsea are as strong as Man United”.
You beat Chelsea 4-2. A model for Mourinho?
“I also beat Man United in the Carling Cup. But the Champions League is something else. Chelsea is capable of turning the situation round”.
A prediction for the Champions League Final in Madrid.
“I thought Real was going to be there, and yet! Barcelona had difficulties in February, but they are the next strongest team. The other finalist will be decided from Chelsea-Inter. The team that wins has got all the right attributes to get to the final”.