Mancini back at Inter in time for derby della Madonnina

Roberto Mancini has returned to Internazionale for a second spell in charge, succeeding Walter Mazzarri who was sacked after 17 months in the dugout.

Mazzarri led Inter to a fifth place finish last season, an improvement on their ninth position in 2012-13, but they have endured a slow start to the current campaign. The Nerazzurri have won just four of their opening 11 matches, and although they weren’t realistically expected to challenge for a Scudetto they last won in 2010, they already trail leaders Juventus by 12 points.

This has prompted club president Erick Thohir to take action and Mazzarri, previously of Napoli, has paid the price. Whilst announcing this decision, the Indonesian businessman also revealed the return of Mancini, who has had spells at Manchester City and Galatasaray since his last spell at Inter came to an end in May 2008 when he was replaced by Jose Mourinho.

“Today I made the difficult decision to dismiss Walter Mazzarri as head coach. It was a decision that I reached in conjunction with my management team,” said Thohir. “It was a difficult decision because he has been continuously supportive of the direction that we have wanted to take the club, and he has worked tirelessly and selflessly for Inter, with both belief and passion.

“I would like to thank Walter Mazzarri sincerely for his efforts. However, our goal is to regain our rightful position as one of the very top clubs in Europe and that’s why I am so happy to welcome back Roberto Mancini. His track record both at Internazionale and elsewhere speaks for itself, and his experience and hunger for success will drive the team to the next level.”

Mancini led Inter to three successive Serie A titles from 2006 to 2008, as well as two Copa Italia’s and two Italian Super Cups, but was unable to make progress in the UEFA Champions League. At Manchester City he guided the Blues to their first piece of silverware in 35 years when they won the FA Cup in 2011, which was followed up with the league title the following year. His spell in Istanbul with Galatasaray lasted just nine months, during which he led them to the last 16 of the Champions League and victory in the Turkish Cup, before he handed in his resignation in June 2014.

Mancini’s second spell at Inter will begin with the derby della Madonnina next Sunday evening, when they take on city rivals Milan in one of the most anticipated fixtures in the Serie A calendar. The Rossoneri are in seventh place at present, and just one point ahead of their neighbours, meaning they could be overtaken by the end of the ninety minutes.

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