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Mancini (Roma v Lyon, 2007)

âÂÂAh, the stepovers,â former Roma winger Mancini smiles. âÂÂWe call them pedaladas in Brazil. TheyâÂÂve always been my trademark.â So he showed with a stepover frenzy vs Lyon â and specifically Anthony Reveillere â in the 2006-07 Champions League last 16.

How many stepovers did he pull off before knocking the ball past the French full-back and lashing it into the top corner to give Roma a 2-0 lead? Mancini guesses: âÂÂFive?â He doesnâÂÂt really know. Neither does Reveillere. âÂÂI never got a chance to ask him,â Mancini chuckles.

âÂÂIt was a mix of technique, strength and acceleration â â¨a little bit of everything,â says the Brazilian. âÂÂIt was a great cross-field ball from Francesco Totti: we may not have been best friends, but we understood each other on the pitch. He put me one-on-one with Reveillere, and I had to go for it.

âÂÂWe love that sort of thing back home. It comes naturally from our childhood. ItâÂÂs in our blood: weâÂÂre always looking for the pedaladas. Non-Brazilian players try it, but itâÂÂs different. When we got past Lyon, we clashed with Manchester United in the quarter-finals [and lost 7-1 at home in the second leg]. Cristiano Ronaldo was there and he has the â¨skill, but itâÂÂs not the same as when a Brazilian does it.âÂÂ

Mancini, now playing in â¨his homeland for Bahia, continues: âÂÂThat was one â¨of the most beautiful goals â¨IâÂÂve ever scored â but not the best. In my first season at Roma, I scored a backheel against Lazio that earned me the name âÂÂIl Tacco di Dioâ [the heel of God].

âÂÂThe funny thing with this goal, though, is that I got an offer from Lyon after leaving Roma...âÂÂ

Interview: Marcus Alves. Illustration: German Aczel. From the October 2012 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!