In the run-up to the Asian Cup, the Euro winner is hoping to usher in a new era for Saudi football.
Seasoned coach Roberto Mancini has inked a four-year contract with the Saudi Football Association, reported to be worth more than $25m per year extending until 2027, after he left his previous position at the Squadra Azzurra, with whom he won the latest European Championship.
The Italian coach is poised to make his inaugural appearance against Costa Rica in a scheduled clash at Newcastle United’s home stadium, the St. James’ Park, on the 8th of September, succeeded by another showdown against South Korea four days later. Notably, the club’s primary shareholder is the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), chaired by Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman.
I am excited to announce that I am joining the Saudi Arabia Football Federation as Head Coach of the National Team. I am delighted and honored to have been selected for such prestigious role, as a sign of appreciation and recognition for all the work done during these years. pic.twitter.com/lW2pF0rVar— Roberto Mancini (@robymancio) August 27, 2023
High hopes for the future
In X, formerly known as Twitter, the 58-years-old coach affirmed that he was “delighted and honored to have been selected for such prestigious role, as a sign of appreciation and recognition for all the work done during these years.”
“We are delighted to welcome Roberto Mancini to lead the Green Falcons,” said Yasser al-Misehal, the president of the Saudi Football Association.
“His experience and proven track record at club and international level marks a significant step towards achieving our goals in international football.”
Under the leadership of Renard Hervé, the Saudi Arabian football team etched their mark on the global stage. Their victory over Argentina, in a 2-1 spectacle during the group stages of the last World Cup, became a headline-grabbing feat.