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New coach Mancini vows to bring Italy back to top

IANS  |  Rome 

Roberto Mancini, 53, the new of Italy, which failed to qualify for next month's World Cup in Russia, has pledged to take the Azzurri back to the top.

reported on Tuesday that Mancini, at his first press conference in Milan, said he was proud of getting this opportunity, reports

"For a person like me -- who stepped in Coverciano (training centre for national teams near Florence) for the first time in 1978 -- becoming is the most beautiful thing," leading sport daily quoted as saying.

"I want to bring back to top of and of the world," stressed.

The Italian Federation (FIGC) named as the in a statement on Monday.

He signed a two-year contract, and this would allow him to lead the team at European Championship scheduled in 2020.

His nomination came exactly six months after four-time world champions Azzurri missed out on for the first time in 60 years. Such a failure left the country's fans stunned, and led to the dismissal of former

Answering questions, Mancini said he would hold talks with striker to see whether it was possible to have him back in the national team.

"There are a lot of players in Italy, even if we think it is hard to find quality players at times," he said.

"With Balotelli, we will speak and I will probably call him. We would all like to see him back, as it happened with (former coach) Prandelli at "

Balotelli currently plays with OGC Nice in France, after playing with and Manchester City in the UK, and with AC and Inter in Italy. He has not been called to join the national team since November 2014.

The Italian national team would have a first training with Mancini next week.

"It is hard to say how we will play: I want to see some players that I do not know well, and I will adapt to their needs and qualities to decide what it is best for the team," Mancini explained.

Age would be considered in selecting players, however, since the Azzurri needed to be put back on track. "We need to think about building a team for the coming years, so age will matter," Mancini confirmed.

"The has to be close to the youth teams, although every team has its own coach, and I do not want to interfere with the work of my colleagues," he added.

Mancini debuted as a in Italy's in 1981, playing as a forward until 2001. He also joined the national team from 1984 to 1994.

He started his coaching experience in the early 2000s, leading Fiorentina, Lazio, and Inter Milan, Manchester City, Galatasaray, and Zenit St. Petersburg.

His Azzurri team will now have three friendly games in a few weeks: against in on May 28, against in Nice on June 1, and against The in on June 4, the FIGC said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 15:48 IST