Mancini takes charge of Italy

"The FIGC can confirm that Roberto Mancini has been named new Head Coach of the National Team and will be presented tomorrow (Tuesday)", the Italian FA said in a statement. He succeeds Giampiero Ventura, who left the role last November after Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russiaâ„¢.

They were eliminated in the group stage at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, although they have done better at the European Championship, reaching the final in 2012 and the quarter-finals in 2016.

The names of former Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had also been touted, with Ancelotti reported to have said "no".

Like this, there are a lot of issues still to be addressed, and Roberto Mancini now has two years in which to rebuild Italy in order that they become a force to be reckoned with once again.

"Everything went as we wanted. We'll certainly talk with Mario and we'll probably bring him", the newly-appointed boss continued, discussing upcoming friendlies with Saudi Arabia, France and the Netherlands.

The 53-year-old's management career really took off when he steered Inter Milan to a hat-trick of Serie A titles before making the move to the Citizens.

Since leaving England in 2013, Mancini also managed Galatasaray, who he lead to a Turkish Cup title, and Inter Milan before joining Zenit in June 2017.

Luigi di Biagio had stepped up from the Under-21s to take interim charge of the senior national side but will now make way for Mancini.

His Zenit team finished the Russian Premier League in fifth after beating relegated SKA Khabarovsk 6-0 on Sunday.

Vanessa Coleman

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