Premier League

Mancini thanks fans in newspaper ad

Mancini thanked fans for their support during his three-and-a-half year stint at City.
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MANCHESTER, England (AP)

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Roberto Mancini bade farewell to Manchester City fans by taking out a full-page advert in the local newspaper on Saturday, thanking them for their support during his 3 1/2 years in charge.

The Italian was fired by City on Monday after failing to win a major trophy in a season of regression, even though he guided the club to a first Premier League title 12 months earlier.

In an advert in the Manchester Evening News featuring a picture of a waving Mancini above the three trophies won at the club, he wrote ''You will always be in my heart'' and signs off with ''Ciao.''

The headline of his advert read ''3 Unforgettable Years.''

Retiring Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said Friday that it's ''quite amazing'' that Mancini was fired.

''He has won the FA Cup (in 2011), been in the final, second in the league (both this season) and won the league - and it's not good enough?'' said Ferguson, who has spent nearly 27 years at United. ''I was surprised. But actually, no. You can't say you are surprised, not with some owners today. You can't be surprised, but I still don't think it was right.'

"I was with the chief executive of Liverpool at our reserve game the other night and he told me that Brendan Rodgers, who has not been in the job a year, is the 30th longest-serving manager in the country. That's incredible."

Mancini has yet to speak publicly since he was fired a season into a new five-year deal. Many City fans cheered his name during the team's 2-0 win at Reading on Tuesday.

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