Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport
Every week Football Italiano brings you a translation of one of la Gazzetta dello Sport’s interviews with a major name from the world of Italian football. This time it is the turn of former Inter boss Roberto Mancini, who this week was celebrating winning the award for best coach of last season, as voted by other Serie A and B coaches…
FIRENZE He won, finally. And his first thoughts are for his former “pupils”. “I dedicate the Panchina d’Oro to the Inter players”. Roberto Mancini enjoys his long craved for “revenge”. The former Nerazzurri coach thrashed everyone. A real plebiscite, that erases last year’s disappointment. “I have no regrets, this trophy arrived at the right time”. His colleagues applaud him. He looks moved. Mancini is back to the centre of attention for a day. “I haven’t been missing football yet. I’m fine on holiday. I’ve been studying abroad”.
Inter are leading already.
“They’re the number one candidate for the Scudetto. They were strong already and got even stronger”.
On Saturday there’s Inter-Juve.
“I don’t know how it will end. I’m sure it’s going to be a good match. Inter and Juve are in very good form”.
Ibrahimovic keeps on giving Pallone d’Oro (European Footballer of the Year) performances.
“Ibra is great, he would deserve it. But choosing among so many champions is not easy”.
Mourinho criticised Italian football.
“Hold on. It doesn’t seem to me like he said that Serie A is a bad championship. He only expressed his opinion on how Italian football is seen abroad”.
What do you think about the Portuguese?
“He is a great character”.
Your results keep on being compared to Mourinho’s.
“I did my job well and Mourinho is doing his well. Comparisons are normal. The rest doesn’t matter. As soon as I got to Coverciano I saw Mourinho and we said hello”.
There’s great uncertainty at the top of the table.
“True. The championship race has become wide open. But the Scudetto will be contested by the top three teams, Inter, Milan and Juve. The others will have to be content with the last useful place for the Champions League. A battle that will be decided in the run-in”.
Who is the surprise team of the Championship so far?
“I haven’t seen many games. I like Napoli though”.
Del Piero is back to World Cup standards.
“I congratulate him. Ale is doing great things. And I’m sure he’ll keep on entertaining football lovers”.
Who did you vote for today?
“For Prandelli. Last year he took Fiorentina to the Champions League”.
This year instead, the Viola don’t seem to be finding continuity.
“They mainly find it difficult when they are away from home. But long term Fiorentina have the qualities to repeat last years achievements. Gilardino’s goals are a good starting point”.
If you had a magic wand what would you ask for as a coach?
I would like clubs to put more trust into coaches. And that they were closer to those on the bench”.
The Spanish press lists you among the candidates for the Real job.
“That would be nice. I don’t know anything. I can only hope these rumours are real. Are you saying my name is “in the air”? Let’s hope it isn’t all hot air then”!