Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Mancini to quit Inter at end of season

Inter coach Roberto Mancini has announced he plans to leave the club at the end of the season.

Mancini made the announcement after the Nerazzurri were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League last 16 tonight after losing 1-0 at home to Liverpool and 3-0 on aggregate.

"The next two and a half months will be my last guiding Inter," the 43-year old told a shocked news conference.

"I have told the boys and it's right to tell everyone. It is a decision I have taken and it does not depend on the defeat tonight."

There was no official statement from the Italian champions and there had been no hint he would make such an announcement.

Inter romped to the Serie A title under Mancini last season and are six points clear this term. However they have limped out of the Champions League at the first knockout stage for the second successive season.

Mancini, Inter coach since July 2004, added that he wanted to leave the club with another Scudetto and the Coppa Italia in the bag.

"Now we have to remain focused on retaining the Scudetto. But Inter will remain being a great squad and a great club," he said.

"We've got two and a half months to retain our title. This year it'll be difficult right until the end."

Mancini is Inter's most successful coach of the past decade, having won two Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia crowns and two SuperCoppa's.

Mancini also insisted his decision has nothing to do with a reported rift between himself and club owner Massimo Moratti, and claimed there was no ill-feeling between the pair.

"The President knows (I'm leaving), it isn't true that we had a fight," he said. "There is absolutely no problem between me and the President, I wish him all the best."

Earlier this season the Italian media reported that Moratti had held talks with former Porto and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho but the club and the Portuguese denied it.

Source: Reuters

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