Zenit stalwart Domenico Criscito is already enjoying life under his second Italian coach in Russia following the appointment last month of Roberto Mancini.
The former Inter and Manchester City boss has succeeded Mircea Lucescu at the Russian Premier League side, following in the footsteps of countryman Luciano Spalletti.
According to full-back Criscito, who has himself taken over from the departed Danny as captain, an improvement in training is already discernible under former Sampdoria striker Mancini.
“Every coach has his own specifics,” he told the Zenit website.
“Spalletti and Mancini are both very strong professionals. Now we are much more engaged in tactics, for example, than in the previous season.
“It is inherent in our Italian style and approach. It’s great that he is now at Zenit, as the best coaches in the world are Italians.”
— FC Zenit in English (@fczenit_en) July 5, 2017
According to ex-Genoa and Juventus player Criscito, who was capped 22 times by Italy, securing the services of Serie A and Premier League winner Mancini is a testament to Zenit’s stature.
“Everybody knows that Mancini works only with top clubs, and Zenit are one of them,” he said.
“We always want to win matches and titles, and Mancini fits us perfectly.
“He called me at the end of May. He wanted to learn more about the city, about the club. Of course, I told him everything and said that Zenit has high goals.
“Mancini was confident in his choice. He said that he likes the club’s ambitions.”
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