Roberto Mancini believes he was shown a lack of respect by former club Manchester City.
The Italian guided the club to their first Premier League success in 2012 and won the FA Cup a year earlier.
But after defeat to Wigan in this season’s cup competition and a second-placed finish to Manchester United in the league, Mancini was replaced at the Ethihad Stadium by Manuel Pellegrini.
And the 48-year-old feels that decision was unfair.
“I never expected what happened. I thought I deserved more respect for the job I did at Manchester City,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“In three and a half years my staff and I did an extraordinary job. I am proud of my work there.
“We rebuilt a club that was not at the top level. They wanted to get into the Champions League, and I got them there.
“We won against all the great clubs – we beat Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford.
“For three years City played the best football in the Premier League.
“But Sheikh Mansour and Chairman Khaldoon are two great leaders, to whom I am forever grateful.”
Mancini also said the time was right for Mario Balotelli to return to Italy, after departing City for Serie A club Milan in January.
“We didn’t get as many goals as we’d have liked from Mario,” he continued.
“For some time I realised that England was no longer good for him.
“He, like Luis Suarez, had been targeted by opponents, referees, the public.
“He is an extraordinary player. At 17 I handed him his debut at Inter. I took him to the Premier League at 21. You know what kind of relationship I have with him – I love him.
“But he needed to go home.”