How Roberto Mancini fell victim to Inter intrigues with Jose Mourinho


The motivations for victory will run deep tonight for Roberto Mancini against Jose Mourinho, the man who signed a three-year contract with Internazionale even before the future Manchester City manager had been fired by the Italian club in deeply acrimonious circumstances.

The fractious relationship between Mancini and Inter in the early months of 2008 led the Italian dramatically to announce that he would leave at the end of the season in the press conference immediately following the club's Champions League elimination to Liverpool at the last-16 stage on 11 March that year. Rumours have always abounded about why Mancini calmly announced his intended departure, at 11.15pm in the San Siro press room. One of the foremost theories is that the Italian and his club's proprietor, Massimo Moratti, had had a blazing argument about the apparent defeatism of Mancini's pre-match declaration that "if by any chance we go out, we must not turn it into a drama".

But biographer Luca Caioli suggests in a new book about Mancini, A Footballing Life, that the Italian may have known by then about Inter's overtures to Mourinho, who was out of work after his departure from Chelsea. Moratti certainly moved fast for the Portuguese, who is two years Mancini's senior, after Liverpool's triumph. Though Mancini immediately recanted on his decision to quit – "I hope that all those who live football will understand my outburst and the bitterness one feels at such delicate times… but it was my heart and feelings talking," he said – Mourinho had a verbal agreement with Moratti by the end of March and he signed his contract with the club on 26 May, 24 hours before Mancini was shown the door.

Caioli provides a detailed picture of Mancini's sacking, in which Moratti dined with two old friends before meeting the manager at his house on Milan's Via Serbelloni. It took 20 minutes to tell him Inter and Mancini had reached the end of the road, despite seven trophies in four years and three successive Serie A titles. Mourinho was presented as the new manager on 3 June.

It was the Inter press release outlining the reasons for Mancini's departure which proved most contentious. The final part of it referred to leaked transcripts of a series of phone calls between a number of Inter employees, including Mancini, and Domenico Brescia – a 55-year-old tailor who served time in prison for conspiracy to commit murder and had Mafia connections. There was nothing incriminating in any of Brescia's conversations with Mancini and, after a legal stand-off, a compensation package believed to have been worth €8m (£6.4m) was agreed for Mancini.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album