Italy coach Roberto Mancini reflected on Sampdoria’s Scudetto winning season and his relationship with Gianluca Vialli.
The Azzurri coach was part of the squad that won the league title in the 1990-91 season, a season in which Sampdoria finished five points ahead of runners up Milan. Vialli was the top goalscorer that season with 19 and Mancini was not far behind with 12, with the pair being vital parts of the Sampdoria side that won the club’s first ever Scudetto.
Speaking at the Turin Film Festival ahead of the release of the docu-film ‘La bella stagione’, Mancini looked back at Sampdoria’s historic season and the relationship he formed with Vialli.
“I hope that this film can be useful to the youngsters of today, because it goes beyond the victory. Many teams have won and will continue to win, but this is a story of friendship, we managed to do it precisely because we are still friends after 30 years.
“We had a great relationship with President Mantovani, we could have left Sampdoria for other teams but we had an indescribable love for that shirt and that team. We achieved goals that are surely impossible to achieve today.
“The final embrace with Vialli doesn’t just represent the European Championship, but the whole relationship that has always existed between us Sampdorians, it was something special, beyond the victory which was very important.
“I hope there can be other stories like that, but all sport, not just football, is full of them. I think Mantovani from above is watching us and having a great time. This story is all his, it’s all thanks to him, only he could have done it.”
The pair’s time together at Sampdoria drew to a close in 1992 but their strong relationship remained and Mancini made Vialli part of his Italy coaching staff. The duo famously hugged after Italy’s victory at Euro 2020, producing an iconic scene on the sidelines of Wembley.