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Dirty Tackle

Roberto Mancini congratulates Man City on reaching the Champions League knockout stage without him

Dirty Tackle

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Manchester City supporters,

When I last spoke to you, it was through a full-page newspaper ad letting you know that you will always be in my heart. But since I've already gone that route (and the fact that full-page ads are surprisingly still expensive), I decided to contact you through whatever this terrible football blog is called. "Filthy Toenail" or something. — that is not the point. I am doing this to tell you congratulations on reaching the Champions League knockout stage for the first time. Without me.

Of course, if I had Alvaro Negredo and Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, I could have gotten the team to this point, as well. But this isn't about me. This is about Manuel Pellegrini's wonderful achievement and how he didn't have an insubordinate Carlos Tevez around to ruin things for him. That must be nice.

After a small celebration, it is important to keep perspective. They do not give trophies just for making it out of the group stage. Arsene Wenger pretends they do by going out and buying one himself and then sending it to his club with a fake note from UEFA, but that's just sad and not totally relevant.

Everyone agrees that winning the Premier League is much more important. As you remember, I was able to do that in the 2011/12 season and last season we finished second together. Pellegrini, however, only has the club in fifth place. And it's worth pointing out that Sir Alex Ferguson isn't even around anymore to ruin everything for everyone. Had he retired before last season, we probably would have been back to back champions. So that's two titles for me and still none for Pellegrini after 10 matches. Not even an FA Cup or Community Shield, both of which we also won together without him. I don't care if you call him "manager" now. Those trophies will never be his.

Anyway, as I said before, this isn't about me. It's about Man City, a club I love, reaching brilliant new heights. My new club, Galatasaray, could soon join you in the round of 16 even though we are in a much harder group. If we do face each other at some point in the future, beating Pellegrini and showing City's executives what they threw away would be a very emotional and inevitable experience that I look forward to every day.

So congratulations and please enjoy this moment, City supporters! Oh, and if you would like me to speak with Joe Hart to undo the damage that Pellegrini has apparently inflicted upon him, I would be willing to do that. Because that's how much I love you more than he does.

Ciao (again),

Roberto Mancini

P.S. Tell Samir Nasri that I still really, really want to punch him. I really want to. More than ever. Hard. And a lot. Many, many times. Forever. With a hammer.

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