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Mancini magic touch spells Wembley return

Mancini smiling

Mancini smiling

Wembley "owes" Roberto Mancini a big day out with a happy ending - and the City manager who admits he has the lucky cup touch is aiming to keep up a remarkable record there in May.

Mancini delivered the Italian FA Cup in his first season at all three Serie A clubs he managed - Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter Milan, where he held on to it the next year for good measure.

Baciato dalla grazia - kissed by good fortune - is how the Italians describe Mancini, and it's little wonder when you throw in the six Coppa Italia medals he also picked up as a player.

The City boss, whose side face visitors Stoke today in a fifth-round showdown for a place in the last eight, has targeted the FA Cup Final to make up for missing out on the Carling Cup.

It would be his first trip to the new stadium - but then the old one held no fond memories for a player who was in the Sampdoria side beaten by Barcelona in the 1992 European Cup final.

Edged out in front of a 70,000 crowd by a Ronald Koeman winner in extra-time, the only goal of the game, Mancini deadpanned: "The game against Barcelona - I have forgotten this!

 

It was a European Cup final, so it was a fantastic day - before the match

 

"We had a lot of supporters over from Genoa. It was a great occasion but when you lose a Champions League final, it's a big problem for the next five or six months.

"I never played at Wembley for Italy. So would it be nice to go back there and win? Very nice!

"When I started managing at Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter, I always won the Cup in my first year. So I hope that can happen here at City as well."

Roberto's Cup luck has held firm in England. City won at Middlesbrough and Scunthorpe in earlier rounds, and as a player his only FA Cup tie was Leicester's 2-1 win at Aston Villa in 2001.

Mancini, then 36, was opposed that day by Villa 19-year-old Gareth Barry: "A young Gareth Barry! It was a very hard game - I don't remember Gareth too well, it is ten years ago, but I will remind him!"

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