Roberto Mancini: What I've Learned

Ahead of tonight's crunch Champion's League tie, Galatasaray's manager shares his wisdom

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I have a lot of scarves. I use the scarf only because I have a problem with my neck. I am old now! Also, in England it was very cold, so you need one.

You have to stay in form if you are to do your job well. I started cycling about six years ago because I don't like to run; I ran for 20 years as a player. Also, when you are on your bike, you can think about problems. I have two or three road bikes: a Cervélo, a Cannondale and a Prestigio. I ride for 50 miles. Not every day. That would be like Wiggins! Just two or three times a week. In Italy, it is dangerous. Cars have more respect for the cyclist in England.

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A cricket match could start now and not finish for another five days. I do not understand this game.

Some people call me Mancio.

James Bond, I like a lot. I have all the films they did regarding 007. They're all incredible; I lose count of how many times I have seen them. The last one was very good.

It is impossible to stop talking about football. Everybody wants to ask about it.

I don't like to fly but I have flown all my life. I think it's better to stay with a foot on the floor.

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It is difficult to be perfect. You can improve yourself every day if you want to learn from people.

In Italy, there are many good cooks but I am not one of them. If you want some pasta, we can do that, but I am not strong in the kitchen.

I have a tattoo on my leg from when I played for Sampdoria [in Italy]. It is the club crest. I did this after we won the Coppa Italia. I will not be getting any more.

When I arrived in England and started to study the language, I watched the soap opera Coronation Street because they talk very well. Even after three years, I did not always understand Brian Kidd [Manchester City's assistant manager] because Kiddo speaks quickly. Did I learn any interesting local phrases? Yes, but they are impossible to say for a magazine!

I think that Giorgio Armani is one of the world's best designers in history. My tailor is in Naples. It is a small tailor, but they do a nice suit.

Every goal has a particular feeling. I scored an important goal – for me – for Sampdoria when we beat Napoli in the year that we won the championship [Serie A, 1990–'91 season]. Attilio Lombardo went down the channel, right side, he crossed a long ball from the edge of the box and I scored with a volley. It was a very good goal. I scored two goals that day and [Gianluca] Vialli scored the other two. We won, away, 4–1. That was against [Diego] Maradona. I last played football with my friends three days ago. Now I am very tired.

I grew up in Jesi, a town near Ancona in Marche [a region of central Italy]. My mother was a nurse in the hospital. My father was a – in Italian it is falegname. He worked with wood. A carpenter! Hard work. I left to play football in Bologna when I was 13. If not, maybe I would have been a carpenter, too. I started to play for the first team when I was 16 years old. After that, I stopped school. I was not a good student. I liked history and geography, but mathematics was a disaster!

When I was young, I tried to play basketball. I was not tall enough. In the end, I was better with my feet.

I know Mario Balotelli very well. He is a fantastic guy and his heart is very big. We will always be friends. I joke when I say that I am old, but it is normal when you are young to be like Mario, to make mistakes sometimes because you don't understand a lot of things. When you have more years, you have more experience.

The last book I read was Inferno by Dan Brown. He is a good writer.

Is it easier to be a player or a manager? Oh, a player. It is easier because when you play football you think only about training and the game. When you are a manager, you have to think about everything and sometimes you think that every player can do everything but this is not true. Managing players can be difficult. There are big egos and you have a lot of players that come from different countries, different cultures. Sometimes, your job doesn't just depend on you; it depends on other people. To do this job is fantastic, but it is also very, very dangerous.

When you are a manager, you can work very well every day, but if you are not lucky in some games, you can still lose. Football is strange like this.

I got married when I was 25. What's the secret to such a long and happy relationship? I don't know. Maybe because I work a lot.

I think that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are the best three tennis players of the last 20 years. Very different styles but every one has a good shot. I like all the champions. I am a really poor tennis player. I try to stay near the net.

Are my two sons both footballers? They try. One now is in Budapest. It depends if they want to work hard for this because if you don't work hard then it is difficult. My daughter is studying. For girls it is different. They are more intelligent than us.

The best glass of wine I ever had was the one that Fergie offered me after Manchester City beat United 6–1.

What do I miss about living in the UK? The weather! Maybe Fruit Pastilles. My time in Manchester was very, very good. Fantastic supporters. I miss the Premier League because I think that this is the best championship in Europe. Maybe I can come back. You never know. Maybe I can manage a national team. I have different options. Politics? No, no, no. I don't like politics. Only sport. Football. If politics is like this then we don't have a problem.

I was born near the church; I believe in God and I pray often.

I left my house when I was young, but my parents were very close to me. They taught me to be honest, to have respect for everything and everyone and to treat other people as you would like them to treat you. You have to help other people if you can.

Money is a part of life, but to be happy you need other things.

I think that football is important for everyone, but it is entertainment. It should be like this. People want to watch the football and stay for two hours without problems and think mostly about their team.

You should always play to win.

Galatasaray v Juventus is on Sky Sports 4 tonight at 7.45pm

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