Roberto Mancini vowed to return Zenit to the Champions League as he was welcomed as their new head coach on Tuesday.

The club finished third in the Russian Premier League – good enough only for Europa League qualification – for a second season in a row in 2016-17, with Mircea Lucescu departing at the end of the campaign.

And Mancini, appointed in his place, is determined to deliver success at Zenit.

“In a few months, I’ll be able to say hello to you in Russian,” the former Manchester City manager told supporters. “I wanted to thank everyone for this welcome. I knew Zenit fans were extraordinary, but didn’t think they’d be quite like this.

“I thank the president, who will provide great support. If Zenit have become one of the most important clubs in the world, it is mainly down to him.

“The club will give support to ensure the team gets back to winning ways and qualifies for the Champions League, because that is the tournament where Zenit belong.

A new adventure on the @fczenit_en bench I’m very honored to have been chosen as their coach#Zenit is a club with a rich history. Go Zenit

— Roberto Mancini (@robymancio) June 1, 2017

“We will do our best and try to bring Zenit back to the top of the table. It’ll be hard work, but I’m sure that, all together, we can do it.”

Mancini was last in charge at Inter, but left last August after a poor pre-season.


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