Mancini's Italy head coach appointment paves way for Balotelli return

Roberto Mancini

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has been named as the new manager of Italy.

Rome: Roberto Mancini has been officially appointed as the new head coach of Italy, the Italian football federation (FIGC) confirmed on Monday.

The 53-year-old has been handed the daunting task of lifting Italy out of the doldrums after their failure to qualify for this year's World Cup, the first time they will miss the tournament in 60 years.

Mancini, a former Italy player, has coached Fiorentina, Lazio, Inter, City, and Galatasaray to titles.

According to Sky, Roberto Mancini met with Italian FA cub-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta on Monday to discuss terms. Roberto wanted to become the head coach of the Italian national team.

"I hope that I can be the person who brings Italy back to a significant triumph", he said.

More news: Payet says he is fit to play in Europa League final

Balotelli has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup.

However, Mancini's first squad will be eagerly awaited and is expected to see the return of Nice forward Mario Balotelli, who he coached at Inter Milan and Manchester City. His contract will run until 2020, but stipulates an automatic extension should Italy qualify for the European Championships that year, and also includes various incentive-based bonus payments.

Mancini says "amid such a hard period, I thought this could be the right time (to take the job)".

This will be Roberto Mancini's first worldwide appointment.

He added that he would call talented striker Mario Balotelli, who has been left out of the national team in recent years after getting a reputation for being a maverick. The Italy squad will convene on May 22 ahead of friendlies against Saudi Arabia (May 28), France (June 1) and the Netherlands (June 4).

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

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