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The last time Roberto Mancini stood on the sidelines at Wembley before Euro 2020 – he found himself sacked just 48 hours later.
That was back in 2013 when his Manchester City side lost the FA Cup final to Wigan, who got relegated from the Premier League that season.
Etihad bosses had lost patience with Mancini's high-maintenance behaviour, which included him refusing to accept the colour purple on their training kit, rowing with several high-profile stars and developing an obsession with fruit pastilles.
Strange indeed, but he has now developed a new obsession – and it has reminded English football what it has been missing.
Mancini has acquired an addiction to winning with the Italian team – to outline his reputation as one of the greatest managers in Europe.
Few bosses succeed at both club and international level, but Mancini managed to pull it off after transforming the fortunes of one of the former powerhouses of world football.
When he took charge in 2018, the Azzuri had failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years. One Italian newspaper compared the failure to the Apocalypse.
Mancini has since gone on to rebuild the footballing world of a proud nation, to give them a side to boast about again.
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Heading into their Euro semi final with Spain, Mancini had overseen a staggering run of 32 games unbeaten and 13 wins on the spin.
From failing to even qualify for tournaments, Italy are back in fashion and now threatening to win them again after reaching the final on penalties.
Mancini's stock has never been higher, but it wasn't quite high enough for Tottenham supremo Daniel Levy, it seems, during his haphazard and embarrassing search for Jose Mourinho's replacement.
Despite winning 13 club trophies, including City's first ever Premier League title in 2012, Levy thought it sensible to consider the likes of Gennaro Gattuso instead. Wrong Italian, Daniel.
The chances are Mancini would have laughed down the phone at Levy – and who could have blamed him? He might be a bit quirky, but he's not stupid.
Few countries are more grateful to their current manager than England currently are, but the Italians might just be the exceptions.
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