Roberto Mancini- Sven Goran Eriksson is like my brother

Last updated : 07 January 2011 By Daily Mail

The pair have a long association, that dates back to their time as a player and manager with Sampdoria and Lazio in the 1990s. That in itself offers an unusual slant to Manchester City's FA Cup trip to Leicester.

Family matters: Mancini (left) is closely associated to Leicester boss Eriksson

But the ties do not end there. Mancini is a former Leicester player, making five appearances for the Foxes in 2001.

And more latterly, Eriksson spent a season as City manager, replacing Stuart Pearce to take charge during the eventful, but ultimately ill-fated Thaksin Shinawatra era.

Old fox: Mancini enjoyed a short spell at Leicester

'He stayed there for one year,' laughed Mancini. 'That is enough, no? He left a seat for me.

'Sunday will be the first time one of my teams has played against one of Sven's. It will be very interesting because he is like my brother.

'I have know him for around 15 years. He is a fantastic coach and a fantastic man.'

Since standing down as England boss in 2006, Eriksson has moved around, often with alarming swiftness, always securing a lucrative contract.

It means a perception of the Swede has grown that is not necessarily anywhere close to the truth.

Certainly Mancini will not hear a bad word about him, and credits Eriksson for the exceptional career he had.

'If you stay with one manager for 15 years, he can help you to improve,' said the City chief.

'When Sven arrived in Italy, we played only 5-3-2. Sven played 4-3-3 or 4-4-2. They were different tactical situations and, that for me, was important.'

So too was that short spell at Leicester, which built an interest in the Premier League that ensured Mancini was suitably attracted to England when the former Inter Milan chief was approached to replace Eriksson's successor, Mark Hughes, as City manager just over 12 months ago.

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'I have good memories of Leicester and of their supporters,' said Mancini. 'It was a very good experience for me - short, but enjoyable and it made me want to return to work in England one day.'

Last season's Carling Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United proved to be Mancini's first taste of English cup combat, since when two attempts at getting to Wembley have ended with a disappointing early failure.

'We will go to Leicester with the strongest squad we have available because we want to be successful in this competition,' said Mancini.

'The FA Cup is important. I won 10 cups in Italy when I was a player and a manager, so I know how valuable it can be.

'This competition is very important in this country. In five games, you can be in the final. That is where I want to be.'

As neither David Silva, nor Mario Balotelli are likely to be fit after recent knee injuries, Mancini will again be shuffling his squad, which points towards a recall for Adam Johnson, who was introduced into the latter stages of Wednesday's game at the Emirates.

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Source: Daily Mail

Source: Daily Mail