European champion coach Roberto Mancini hired shortly after his retirement from the Squadra Azzurra as national coach in Saudi Arabia. He does not see this step as a sporting descent.
Roberto Mancini has signed a four-year contract as the new national team coach in Saudi Arabia. “I am very proud to accept this post,” said the Italian at his presentation in the very rich Gulf state.
The coming days are important for him to see more of the players on site before the first games. The 58-year-old emphasized that the local players also benefited from the many foreign football stars who now play in the country. For the team to be successful, everyone has to work hard and together. “I’m not a magician.”
Mancini is also striving for the greatest possible success as the new national coach of Saudi Arabia. The 58-year-old Italian said he was firmly convinced that “the passionate football culture” in Saudi Arabia and the “quality of the Saudi players” were key success factors, referring to the immense transfer offensive by clubs from the Kingdom this summer: ” The presence of top players in the Saudi Pro League indicates the growth potential of the national football scene.”
Mancini, who surprisingly led his home country to the European Championship title in 2021 and submitted his resignation from the Squadra Azzurra in mid-August, has been given a four-year contract with the Saudi Arabian football association SAFF.
Premiere against South Korea and Jürgen Klinsmann
Mancini will make his debut on September 8th in a friendly against Costa Rica, four days later he will face the South Koreans coached by Jürgen Klinsmann. “I made history in Europe. Now it’s time to make history with Saudi Arabia,” Mancini said in English in a video published by SAFF on Platform X (formerly Twitter).
It is a “great honor” for him to take charge of Saudi Arabia’s national team, the former striker said: “I think it’s a great opportunity for me to experience football in a new country, especially given its growing popularity of football in Asia.”
Money may have also played a role in the change. According to media reports, the former club coach is said to earn around 25 million euros a year from Manchester City in Saudi Arabia, among others.
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