“Tevez close to Messi”, claims hallucinating Mancini

Sit me in a room with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and I'm sure we could have an amicable and occasionally entertaining chat about David Moyes, Vespas, the tradition of wearing a scarf of his club's colours during matches, his days as an altar boy, and how stress can sometimes cause hallucinations so powerful you’d think the person experiencing them was taking industrial quantities of mind-altering substances.

I could playfully suggest Mancini give the handbags a miss and just smack Moyes the next time he and the Everton manager have a disagreement.

We could discuss our favourite Vespa model (mine the “GT 125”, his the rarely seen “Ciao”, as ridden by Eddie Izzard in countless comedy performances) and compare notes on the fuel economy of the respective models.

Then there would be some good natured joshing when I pointed out that wearing a scarf of your club's colours is something fans do every week without feeling the need to attach a spurious “tradition” to proceedings.

A by now indifferent Mancini would once more regale me with the story of how an appearance for his local Aurora Calcio football team clashed with his first Holy Communion.

The local priest was also the coach of Aurora, who were losing 2 - 0 at the time. Legend says he gave the eight year old Mancini special permission to join them on the pitch.

The future player, manager and stealer of balls as the final whistle draws near sneaked out before his dad could stop him.

All of this would lead to a blatantly tongue in cheek request for Mancini to compare the genius of Lionel Messi with the leaden footed half witted excuse for a player known as Carlos Tevez.

To my amazement, this apparently intelligent and erudite man would respond like so:

“When you pick the top players, you pick (Wayne) Rooney, Messi and Tevez. Messi is the best at the moment, but Carlos and Rooney are very, very close."

The only rational response to such idiocy would be to give Mancini the slap the stupid man was clearly asking for and more than merited with this jaw-dropping statement.

I just hope one day he sees the error of his ways and publicly admits he was wrong. If not, the suspicion that unknown chemicals of a hallucinogenic nature are messing with his thought processes will surely linger.

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