Roberto Mancini remains baffled over Manchester City dismissal

Italian says he surpassed the expectations outlined to him when he took the job, and also discusses his relationship with club officials and Mario Balotelli

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The Independent Football

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancin has insisted he remains baffled as to why he was dismissed from the club, claiming that they owed him more respect for what he had achieved during his spell in charge.

The Italian was sacked on May 13, exactly a year after he led the side to their first Premier League title two years after he took over from Mark Hughes. It followed three days of speculation over his future having lost out in the title race to bitter rivals Manchester United.

The club claimed that Mancini had "failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League", and appointed former Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini after his contract with the Spanish club expired.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, Mancini has expressed his failure to understand the reasons why he was relieved of his duties.

He said: “Even now, (almost two months) later, I still do not understand why. It is still painful, I admit. I think I deserved more respect for what I had done for Manchester City.

"In three and a half seasons with my staff, I believe I did an extraordinary job.

"The club had not won a (league) title for more than 40 years. I won a championship title, FA Cup, a Community Shield and, in the worst season - the last one - I lost a final and I came second (in the league).

"The numbers are clear. This sacking still does not have a reason.

"The Arabs called me and said to me 'in three years we want the title', and I won it in the second year. And then I rebuilt a club that was not at the top level of football. Evidently, chairman Khaldoon (Al Mubarak) must have had in his head some situations that were not true."

The former Inter Milan boss also admitted that he did not see eye-to-eye with chief executive Ferran Soriano, claiming: “"For him, I was a person too big (within the club). He and I did not speak the same language and I do not mean Italian, Spanish or English."

Mancini’s reign was also dominated with his altercations with controversial striker Mario Balotelli, and a training ground bust-up seemed to spark the end of their relationship with the Italian international being sold to AC Milan four weeks later.

48-year-old Mancini had relentlessly supported Balotelli as he continued to dominate the English headlines for the wrong reasons, but Mancini ran out of patience and shipped him on in the January transfer window.

"By that time, I understood that in England he was not very well any more," Mancini continued. "He - like (Liverpool forward Luis) Suarez - was targeted by opponents, referees, the public.

"Sure, he has not done anything to avoid certain situations.

"I love him, but I have not heard from since he arrived at Milan."

The Italian manager has been linked with a return to Italy to take over at Roma, and it’s a job that Mancini would be interested in, although he confirmed that nothing had been discussed between the two parties.

"We are talking about a great club, with absolute prestige, which is trying to rebuild a cycle," he said. "It's an adventure that would have had its own charm, I do not deny it ... Never say never.

"I would have considered an interesting proposal. I have never had any direct contact, though."