Doubts Surround Roberto Mancini’s Future as Coach of Saudi Arabian National Team After Disappointing Results: Latest Updates
Concerns Arise Over Roberto Mancini’s Future as Coach of Saudi Arabian National Team
Reports from Italian website Calciomercato suggest that doubts have emerged regarding the continued employment of Italian coach Roberto Mancini with the Saudi Arabian national team. These doubts stem from the team’s unsatisfactory performance in two friendlies held in September 2023.
Under Mancini’s guidance, Saudi Arabia suffered defeats in both matches against Costa Rica (1-3) and South Korea (0-1). These disappointing results have raised concerns, especially with the approaching 2023 Asian Nations Cup final in Qatar early next year.
The Saudi Arabian national team is scheduled to participate in the 2023 Asian Nations Group of 6, alongside Thailand, Oman, and Kyrgyzstan. It is expected that they will perform well and secure a leading position in the tournament.
According to Calciomercato, Saudi Football Federation officials are said to be “extremely upset” with Mancini, not only due to the negative outcomes but also because of the team’s declining performance during these matches.
The source emphasized the high hopes the Saudi federation had for Mancini and the need for him to gain trust after this disastrous start to his tenure.
One of the concerns raised by the Saudi Football Association is the team’s defensive play in the first two matches. Additionally, there appear to be challenges in effectively communicating Mancini’s instructions to players who have previously underperformed.
In preparation for the 2026 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup of Nations qualifiers, the Saudi Greens are scheduled to play friendly matches against Mali and Nigeria on October 13 and 17 next year.
The upcoming international break in October could potentially lead to Mancini’s early dismissal if he fails to rectify the team’s performance and regain the trust of Saudi Football Association officials.
Qualification for the 2026 World Cup will begin for Saudi Arabia in November. This milestone represents a crucial target for Mancini, who previously achieved success by leading Italy to victory in the Euro 2021 tournament.
Saudi Arabia is placed in the seventh Asian qualifying group for the 2026 World Cup finals, alongside Jordan and Tajikistan. They are among the teams aiming to secure a spot through the preliminary rounds.
It is worth noting that Roberto Mancini resigned as coach of the Italian national football team in mid-August 2023. Approximately two weeks later, he signed a four-year contract with the Saudi Football Federation, extending until 2027.
During his tenure as coach of Italy, Mancini secured notable achievements, including 39 wins, 13 draws, and nine defeats. The highlight of his leadership was the Euro 2020 triumph, where Italy emerged as champions.