Roberto Mancini: New boss aims to 'bring Italy back' - and may recall Mario Balotelli

Roberto Mancini
Roberto Mancini has agreed a two-year deal to succeed Gian Piero Ventura, who was sacked after Italy failed to reach this year's World Cup

New Italy manager Roberto Mancini hopes to restore the Azzurri to their former glory - and may recall Mario Balotelli.

Mancini was appointed on Monday after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

"I hope that I can be the person who brings Italy back to a significant triumph," he said. "I will certainly speak with Balotelli also."

The striker, 27, played under Mancini at Inter Milan and Manchester City but has not played for Italy since 2014.

After unsuccessful spells with Liverpool and AC Milan, Balotelli has rebuilt his reputation with Nice in Ligue 1.

But Italy have dropped to their lowest-ever Fifa ranking of 20th after the four-time winners missed out on this year's World Cup in Russia.

Mancini, who won 36 Italy caps, has managed Galatasaray and Zenit St Petersburg since leading Manchester City to their first Premier League title in 2012.

Italy v Sweden
Italy lost their 2018 World Cup play-off 1-0 on aggregate to Sweden

"The failure to qualify for the World Cup caused mourning and this shows how important it is for our country," added the 53-year-old.

"To coach the national team is a reason to be proud for anyone. I think that it's the right moment for me.

"To be able to win something with Italy would be unique. It's a difficult time and there's a lot to do."

Mancini's first match in charge will be a friendly against Saudi Arabia on 28 May before Italy play France and Holland in June.

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Archive: Mancini scores for Italy at Euro 88

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