Mancini Spots ‘Enormous’ Opportunity After Signing New City Deal

Manchester City Manager Mancini Agrees on New Five-Year Contract
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini celebrates on the pitch with the Premier League trophy after their 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, on May 13, 2012. Photographer: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini signed a new five-year contract with the team he led to the Premier League soccer title last season.

Mancini replaced Mark Hughes in 2009 and guided City to F.A. Cup victory in 2011. Twelve months later, the club secured its first English league championship in 44 years as two injury-time goals in the last match of the season enabled City to finish ahead of Manchester United on goal difference.

“The opportunity which exists to build on our recent success is enormous,” Mancini, 47, said yesterday in a statement on City’s website. “I am very much looking forward to the challenges and excitement ahead.”

Mancini’s new contract, which runs until the summer of 2017, comes after the Italian had been linked with the job of Russia manager following the departure of Dick Advocaat after the European Championship.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed by City in the statement announcing the agreement. The Sun newspaper reported today that Mancini will be paid 7.5 million pounds a year, making him English soccer’s highest-paid manager.

City will open the defense of its Premier League title Aug. 19 at home to Southampton. The team owned by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan will start its second campaign in Europe’s elite Champions League in September after failing to advance out of its group last season.

European Honors

“This new agreement allows Roberto to focus on the challenge of guiding a team which is capable not only of defending the Premier League title, but one which can compete for European honors,” John MacBeath, City’s interim chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Mancini joined City in December 2009 after leading Inter Milan to three consecutive Italian Serie A titles. City’s F.A. Cup victory in 2011 was its first trophy in 35 years.

City beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 at its Etihad Stadium on May 13, just as United appeared set to nose out its cross-town rival and seal a record-extending 20th league title.

City was a perennial underachiever in English soccer, even dropping into the third-tier in 1998. Since Sheikh Mansour bought the team in 2008, he’s spent about $1 billion to lift the club from under the shadow of United.

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