Football News

‘I nearly threw my boot at him’ — Samir Nasri opens up on fractious relationship with Roberto Mancini

By Ben Green

Published: 12:14, 30 December 2021

Samir Nasri has shed light on his once quarrelsome relationship with former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

The Italian coach prised Nasri away from Arsenal in 2011 for £25m, with the Frenchman going on to play 176 times for City across six years at the Etihad.

During that time, the 34-year-old clinched two Premier League titles, one of which came under Mancini in that famous 2011/12 season, now synonymous with Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp goal against QPR on the final day of the campaign.

Nasri played a fundamental role in that title-winning season to end City’s 44-year wait for English top-flight glory, turning out 31 times under Mancini and bagging five goals, including a crucial winner in the 2-1 victory over Chelsea on matchday 29.

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Despite their success in that historic campaign, things were not always rosy behind the scenes, with Nasri now lifting the lid on his fractious relationship with Mancini, detailing a particular away day when things threaten to spill over.

“In the first half, he kept talking to me. I told him to stop. If you’re not happy, you take me out,” he told Canal+ (via DH) of City’s trip to Wolves four games before the end of the season.

“I get ready to go out at half-time. In the dressing room, I take off my shoes and tell Yaya Toure, who is sitting next to me, that if he speaks badly to me, I’ll throw my boots at him because the coach used to disrespect and speak badly to players.

“I insulted him by all names. Even his children who sometimes came to play in the reserves or who trained with us.

“I left for Paris the next day. Two days later, I was on the bench against Manchester United. The president came from Abu-Dhabi to see us and told Mancini that if I was fit, we would win.

“I returned to the team, and we made up in a private plane that he paid for with me because I had to return from Paris.”

City entered the dressing room at Molineux with scoreline reading 1-0 to the visitors, and Nasri ultimately returned for the second half, where he netted in the 74th minute to confirm a vital win, before they famously beat rivals Man Utd the following game at the Etihad.