Roberto Mancini’s biggest Critic

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini sends his team out to make history tonight – with his biggest critic sitting in the Etihad Stadium stands for the first time. 

It will be a proud moment for the Blues boss as City play their first Champions League match, made even more poignant by the fact that his dad Aldo will see his team play for the first time. 

Aldo suffered a serious heart attack during the Blues’ tour of the USA in July 2010, causing Roberto to fly back to Italy from Baltimore, fearing the worst. 

But Mancini senior recovered enough for his son to pick up the reins and lead the Blues to the FA Cup triumph and into the Champions League – although Roberto took every available opportunity to fly home and see his dad during the season. 

The Mancini family were hoping Aldo could travel to be at the FA Cup final, but he did not make it – now he will be at the Etihad Stadium tonight. 

“It will be a special moment with my father being here but also because Napoli was always an important team in Italy when I was a player,” said Mancini. 

“His health is good now. He is getting better and there are more important things for him at this moment than football. But he can’t play tonight! 

“He has always been my biggest critic both as a manager and when I was a player. He criticised me every time I played! 

“But this is important because if your father says these things it means they are true.” 

Mancini senior admits he has always been on Roberto’s back, saying: “It is true what Roberto says, that I have always been his biggest critic. 

“It was the same when he was a player as it is now, as a manager. But I am a winner by nature, that is all. All he can do in every game is win for Manchester, not for me. It is a pleasure to be here in Manchester. I love English football.”

Earlier on that historic May day, boss Mancini and some of his players had chosen to attend a 7.30am Mass at Man­chester’s Holy Name Catholic church.

Father Ray Matus recalls: “He came to Mass with two players. At the end he spent an extra 15 minutes praying as others in the congregation waited outside for his autograph.

“He seemed quite calm and focused on winning.”

Mancini’s deep religious conviction is a rarity in Premier League.

In March he visited a Bosnian holy site in March and offered prayers for his 75-year-old father Aldo, who is recovering from a heart attack.

 And Mancini admits that it was one of the happiest moments of his life when proud dad Aldo was able to be at the Etihad to witness the day that will always be recalled in City folklore as the Miracle of Manchester.

Source: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/roberto-mancini-determined-to-celebrate-fathers-870636 ; http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/priest-reveals-roberto-mancinis-saintly-1218390#ixzz3ElpBNiTB

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