Former Italy coach Roberto Mancini feels Andrea Pirlo’s Sampdoria can still qualify for the Serie B playoffs but refuses to rule out a return to the Stadio Ferraris one day.

Pirlo’s Sampdoria sit 15th in the Serie B table, but a playoff placement is just six points away and with 14 games left, Mancini believes the Blucerchiati still have a chance to qualify.

Italy legend Pirlo was appointed last summer but has only won eight games so far, drawing five times and losing 11.

“He is doing his best, but it isn’t easy at all,” Mancini told Tuttosport newspaper on Friday on page 23.

“I believe Sampdoria have improved since the start of the season, they are on the right path. Unfortunately, there have been many injuries that affected their results. I think they can still fight for the playoff.

“They must believe until the end. Anything can happen in Serie B. The technical level is high, but the eighth placement must remain a target.”

Mancini and Gianluca Vialli led Sampdoria to their first and only Serie A title in 1991 and Mancini’s son Andrea is now serving as the Blucerchiati sporting director.

“Andrea is young, but he knows football well and the players too,” said the ex-Italy coach.

“He was born in Genova and he grew up at Samp. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for him, and I think he can be useful to the club. He is also a fan, like me. Sampdoria is our life.”

Does Andrea ever ask for advice from his father?

“It happens, but he must make decisions autonomously,” Roberto replied.

“He has quality even if he’s very young. When he stopped playing, he immediately focused on this job. It has allowed him to remain in a world he loves, especially with the Blucerchiati.”

Mancini was appointed by Saudi Arabia weeks after resigning as Italy’s coach in 2023. The ex-Azzurri tactician refused to rule out a return to Sampdoria one day.

“Samp is my life and this is no news. For now, it’s early, but I’d love to return one day,” he concluded.

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