Roberto Mancini reaches agreement to coach Italy — report

Roberto Mancini is set to agree $2.3 million a year deal to manage Italy. (AFP)
Updated 09 May 2018
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Roberto Mancini reaches agreement to coach Italy — report

  • Mancini set to agree $2.3 million a year deal
  • Zenit Saint Petersburg reluctant to let their coach leave

MILAN: Zenit Saint Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini has reached agreement to become the next Italy coach after accepting a pay cut to take the job, according to reports on Tuesday.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the 53-year-old Italian has agreed a two-year deal worth €2 million ($2.3 million) a year which will be penned after the end of the Russian season which concludes next Sunday.
Zenit are fifth in the Russian Premier League, ten points behind already-crowned champions Lokomotiv Moscow with one match left.
The Russian club are reportedly reluctant to let Mancini leave and the Italian Football Federation FIGC do not want to pay any compensation to release him from his contract.
The former Italian international joined the Russian club last year on a three-year deal thought to be worth €4.5 million.
The annual budget for the future Italy coach and his backroom staff has been fixed at €5 million.
Italy have been without a permanent coach since Gian Piero Ventura was sacked after they failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after losing to Sweden in November.
Italy’s under-21 coach Luigi Di Biagio has been filling the position on an interim basis.
During his 17-year coaching career Mancini led Manchester City to their first English league title in 44 years in 2012, and won three Serie A titles with Inter Milan. He also won Italian Cups with Inter, Fiorentina and Lazio.
Meanwhile, Gazzetta also reported that Mancini wants to bring back Mario Balotelli into the national fold, and will ask goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon to play against the Netherlands for a farewell appearance in Turin on June 4.
In-form Nice striker Balotelli, 27, has scored 13 goals in 33 appearances for Italy but has not been picked since the 2014 World Cup.
Former Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti turned down the opportunity to coach the four-time world champions saying he preferred to stay in club coaching.
“Mine was a choice, I want to coach a club,” Ancelotti told Milan TV. “It was a difficult decision, but I have to listen to what I feel.
“Roberto Mancini is an excellent coach, he is motivated and has international experience. If the next coach was him, I think the national team would be in good hands.”


Siakam has 30 points, Raptors top Magic 98-93 for 2-1 lead

Updated 20 April 2019
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Siakam has 30 points, Raptors top Magic 98-93 for 2-1 lead

  • Siakam was 13 for 20 from the floor
  • Raptors held Orlando to 36% shooting

ORLANDO, Florida: Pascal Siakam had 30 points and 11 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and the Toronto Raptors held off the Orlando Magic 98-93 on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round series.
Siakam was 13 for 20 from the floor and the Raptors held Orlando to 36% shooting. Leonard had 10 rebounds, Danny Green had 13 points and Kyle Lowry finished with 12 points and 10 assist.
Terrence Ross led Orlando with 24 points, and Nikola Vucevic shook off a slow start to finish with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Game 4 is Sunday night in Orlando.
The Raptors trailed 61-60 midway through the third, then went on a 16-0 run over the next four minutes to take the lead for good. Siakam and Green were both 3 for 3 during the run, the Magic missed 10 consecutive shots over a span of 6 1/2 minutes and had to play uphill the rest of the way.
That being said, they went down swinging.
Lowry’s 3-pointer with 7:48 left gave Toronto its biggest lead at 86-69. The Magic came flying back, and Ross’ 3-pointer with 41 seconds left got Orlando to 96-93.
Leonard was short with a jumper on the next possession — but the Magic couldn’t control the rebound, and were doomed shortly afterward. Leonard made a pair of free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game again, and that closed the scoring.
Orlando, which finished the regular season by winning 13 of its final 14 home games, was 13 of 44 from 3-point range.
Toronto scored the first 10 points — the last five by Siakam, who was a problem from the outset for the Magic — and led by as many as 11 in the first half.
Orlando got within one on three occasions in the first half, but never got the lead in the opening 24 minutes. Toronto took a 48-45 lead into the break after Ross beat the clock from midcourt at the buzzer.
He took off from the Magic logo and released the ball with about a half-second remaining, it hitting the square on the backboard perfectly and dropping through. Ross never broke stride, watching the ball’s flight as he ran and kept going through the tunnel leading to the Magic locker room.
TIP-INS
Raptors: Toronto had lost four consecutive Game 3s. ... Patrick McCaw (sprained right thumb) was active, but did not play. ... The Raptors are 6-1 in their last seven road games this season. ... Siakam has 73 points and 30 rebounds in the series.
Magic: Among the former Orlando players in the building were Tracy McGrady, Jameer Nelson and Horace Grant. ... Orlando missed three shots at the rim in one third-quarter possession. Vucevic missed at the rim, and Gordon couldn’t convert on two putback tries. ... Attendance was 19,367, the second-most in the Amway Center’s nine-season history.
GOVERNOR SPEAKS
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s first lady Casey DeSantis were in attendance and received Magic “46” jerseys — a nod to his being the 46th governor of the Sunshine State. The governor and Magic CEO Alex Martins spoke pregame about the hope for Orlando to get another All-Star Game soon, though all through 2022 has already been awarded to other Eastern Conference cities — and Milwaukee, another East city, has expressed interest in 2023.
UP NEXT
Game 4 is Sunday night in Orlando.