Mancini (Roma v Lyon, 2007)
Ã¢ÂÂAh, the stepovers,Ã¢ÂÂ former Roma winger Mancini smiles. Ã¢ÂÂWe call them pedaladas in Brazil. TheyÃ¢ÂÂve always been my trademark.Ã¢ÂÂ So he showed with a stepover frenzy vs Lyon Ã¢ÂÂ and specifically Anthony Reveillere Ã¢ÂÂ 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: Ã¢ÂÂFive?Ã¢ÂÂ He doesnÃ¢ÂÂt really know. Neither does Reveillere. Ã¢ÂÂI never got a chance to ask him,Ã¢ÂÂ Mancini chuckles.
Ã¢ÂÂIt was a mix of technique, strength and acceleration Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ¨a little bit of everything,Ã¢ÂÂ says the Brazilian. Ã¢ÂÂIt 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.
Ã¢ÂÂWe love that sort of thing back home. It comes naturally from our childhood. ItÃ¢ÂÂs in our blood: weÃ¢ÂÂre always looking for the pedaladas. Non-Brazilian players try it, but itÃ¢ÂÂs 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 Ã¢ÂÂ¨skill, but itÃ¢ÂÂs not the same as when a Brazilian does it.Ã¢ÂÂ
Mancini, now playing in Ã¢ÂÂ¨his homeland for Bahia, continues: Ã¢ÂÂThat was one Ã¢ÂÂ¨of the most beautiful goals Ã¢ÂÂ¨IÃ¢ÂÂve ever scored Ã¢ÂÂ but not the best. In my first season at Roma, I scored a backheel against Lazio that earned me the name Ã¢ÂÂIl Tacco di DioÃ¢ÂÂ [the heel of God].
Ã¢ÂÂThe funny thing with this goal, though, is that I got an offer from Lyon after leaving Roma...Ã¢ÂÂ
Interview: Marcus Alves. Illustration: German Aczel. From the October 2012 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!