The Italian football federation FIGC on Tuesday unveiled Roberto Mancini as the men's team's head coach who will be tasked with revamping the national squad after the World Cup qualification disaster.
The former Inter Milan and Manchester City coach, who played for Italy 36 times, left his post at Zenit FC last week to take up the position vacated by Gian Piero Ventura, under whom four-time world champions Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
"To coach the national team is a reason to be proud for anyone. I think that it's the right moment for me. It's a difficult time and there's a lot to do," 53-year-old Mancini said at the press conference, as reported by FIGC's Twitter handle.
"I'm emotional. I thank the @FIGC for putting their trust in me. I'm proud of this moment, I first set foot at Coverciano (Italy's technical headquarters for football) in 1978. To come back as the head coach is special," he added.
"Our task will be to make Italy close to the fans again through our play and results. All the players here are quality professionals. I ask them to show the dreams that are in their hearts," he said.
"Even in difficult times, Italy can boast of having players of great quality. There will be space for whoever will do well for the team. Age is certainly important because we need to build for the future but there is no set criteria to exclude in this regard."
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