Roberto Mancini resigns as Italy head coach

Roberto Mancini has resigned as head coach of Italy‘s national team, the country’s football federation (FIGC) said on Sunday, ending a five-year spell in which Italy experienced continental success but missed out on soccer’s showpiece tournament. Mancini took charge of the four-times World Cup winners in 2018 after they failed to qualify for that year’s tournament in Russia, having previously not missed a World Cup finals since 1958.

Following the retirements of veterans Andrea Barzagli, Daniele De Rossi and captain Gianluigi Buffon, Mancini guided a transitional Italy side to success at the European Championship in 2021. His team also went on a run of 37 games without defeat between Oct. 2018 and Oct. 2021 — a record in men’s international soccer.

Italy performed well at the Nations League under Mancini, finishing third in the 2020-21 and 2022-23 editions of the tournament. A significant page in the history of the Azzurri, which began in May 2018 and ended with the 2023 Nations League Finals, comes to an end,” the FIGC said in a statement. In between, the victory at Euro 2020, a triumph conquered by a group in which all the individuals were able to become a team.

However, Mancini was unable to take Italy back to the World Cup, with the team once again failing to qualify for last year’s tournament in Qatar following a stunning 1-0 loss at home to North Macedonia in a playoff tie.

Following that failed World Cup qualifying campaign, Mancini came under intense pressure in the Italian media to resign but received backing from the national federation president to continue in the role.

Mancini’s resignation comes just days after the former international forward was given responsibility for Italy’s Under-21 and Under-20 teams in a bid to integrate the same styles and systems of play across age groups.

Italy are next in action in September, when they take on North Macedonia and Ukraine in Euro 2024 qualifying matches. Taking into account the important and upcoming commitments for the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers… the FIGC will announce the name of the new national coach in the next few days,” the federation said.

Source: eNCA

In other news – Sweet video: Cornet Mamabolo (Tbose) celebrates Birthday with Skeem Saam actors Kwaito, John & Meikie

Popular South African actor Cornet Mamabolo, who played the first Tbose Maputla recently celebrated his birthday with Skeem Saam’s Meikie, John, and Kwaito from the SABC1 soapie.

Cornet Mamabolo (Tbose) celebrates Birthday with Skeem Saam actors Kwaito, John & Meikie

The former The River actor took to his Twitter account on Friday, 11 August to share a video of himself and his former co-stars Clement Maosa who plays Kwaito, Africa Tsoai who plays John, and Harriet Manamela who plays Mieikie. Read more