Dubai: Dubai Sports Council (DSC) received current Italy national football team manager Roberto Mancini at its headquarters on Tuesday and presented the former Manchester City and Inter Milan boss with a copy of ‘My Story’, the anecdotal memoir of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of DSC, received Mancini alongwith Nasser Aman Al Rahma, DSC’s Assistant General Secretary, and gave the 56-year-old a tour of the council’s headquarters, as well as a brief on the role the council plays in promoting sport at different levels.
Mancini thanked Hareb and the DSC for their hospitality and congratulated the council for the great job it is doing in promoting Dubai as one of the top sporting destinations of the world. He also expressed his admiration for Dubai’s visionary leadership for creating an oasis of peace, tolerance and security, and named Dubai as one of his and his family’s favourite places in the world.
One of the leading names in the world of football coaching and management, Mancini, 56, has been a regular visitor to the UAE and Dubai, especially since taking over the reins at Manchester City in 2009, where he guided City to their first Premier League title in 44 years in 2011-2012. He also won an FA Cup (2010-2011) and the FA Community Shield (2012) with the English club before parting ways in 2013.
Mancini arrived at Manchester City following impressive managerial stints at cash-strapped Fiorentina and Lazio, and Inter Milan, where won three consecutive Serie A titles, as well as two Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa Italiana. At Inter, he was at the helm of an Italian record 17 consecutive league game victories as well, a streak that stretched almost half of the 2006-2007 season.
As manager, Mancini also holds a number of other records, including most consecutive Coppa Italia finals from 2004 to 2008 (with Lazio in 2004 and with Inter in the following four seasons), as well as the distinction of reaching at least a semi-final of a major national cup competition between 2002 to 2014.
Mancini had a decorated career as a player as well, and was best known for his time at Italian club Sampdoria, where he played more than 550 matches, and helped the team win a Serie A league title (1990-’91), four Coppa Italia titles, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup (1989-’90).
In 1997, after 15 years at Sampdoria, Mancini left to join Lazio, where he won another league title (1999-2000), as well as the European Cup Winners’ Cup (1998-’99), the UEFA Super Cup (1999), two more Coppa Italia titles and a Supercoppa Italiana.
A deep-lying forward, Mancini was capped 36 times by Italy and took part in the 1988 Uefa Euro and the 1990 Fifa World Cup, and the Italians reached the semi-finals in both tournaments.