Roberto Mancini named Italy coach
ABS-CBN Sports on May 15, 2018 08:28 AM
FILE - in this Thursday, March 8, 2018 file photo, Zenit St. Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini looks up prior to the Europa League round of sixteen first leg soccer match between RB Leipzig and FC Zenit St. Petersburg in Leipzig, Germany. Roberto Mancini is the top candidate to become Italy's coach after Carlo Ancelotti reportedly turned down the job. Mancini tells RAI state radio, "There has not been contact with the (Italian football) federation but for a coaching the Italian national team would be source of honor and prestige." Italian media reported over the weekend that Ancelotti informed the federation that he was no longer interested. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)
ROME (AP) — Roberto Mancini has been confirmed as Italy's new coach.
The Italian football federation made the announcement late Monday, saying Mancini will be introduced on Tuesday but without providing contract details.
Mancini replaces Gian Piero Ventura, who was fired in November after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades.
Luigi Di Biagio guided Italy in an interim role for recent friendlies.
Mancini's appointment will likely signal a return to the national team for Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli, who has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup, featured under Mancini at both Inter Milan and Manchester City.
Mancini left his job at Zenit St. Petersburg on Monday by mutual consent.
Mancini, a former Italy player, has coached Fiorentina, Lazio, Inter, City, and Galatasaray to titles.
His Zenit team finished the Russian Premier League in fifth after beating relegated SKA Khabarovsk 6-0 on Sunday. That was a major disappointment for a team that spent big to sign five Argentine players including Leandro Paredes last summer and was expected to fight for the title.