- Premier League
Mancini: I deserved more respect at City
Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says he deserved more respect from the club for the "extraordinary job" he did.
Mancini won the Premier League title and FA Cup during his three-year tenure but was replaced by Manuel Pellegrini following a failure to win any silverware during the 2012-13 campaign and a lack of progress in consecutive Champions League appearances.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, Mancini has hit out at the manner of his dismissal, saying it was without reason.
"Even now, [almost two months] later, I still do not understand why," he said. "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."
Mancini also claims that his presence intimidated chief executive Ferran Soriano, who is believed to be one of the key figures behind the decision to appoint Pellegrini.
"For him, I was a person too big [within the club]," Mancini said. "He and I did not speak the same language - and I do not mean Italian, Spanish or English."
Mancini has stood by his decision to sell Mario Balotelli to AC Milan in January, insisting a move out of the Premier League's spotlight was the best option available to the striker.
"By that time, I understood that in England he was not very well anymore,'' Mancini said. "He, like [Luis] Suarez, was targeted by opponents, referees, and the public.
"Sure, he has not done anything to avoid certain situations. I love him, but I have not heard from him since he arrived at Milan."
Mancini, a former Lazio coach, has admitted an interest in returning to management with Roma, but didn't receive any contact before the appointment of Rudi Garcia.
"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."