Zenit St Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini has revealed that he was surprised when Liverpool sacked Brendan Rodgers back in 2015.
The Northern Irishman was dispensed with in October of that year after a poor start to the season saw patience run out at Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp soon appointed to replace him.
Mancini is preparing his side to face Celtic in the Europa League this week, the club which appointed Rodgers following his Anfield exit, and the Italian has taken the opportunity to express his surprise at his sacking by Liverpool.
“Brendan had the chance to be a coach with me a few years ago when, it seems like, we were a lot younger!” he said.
“Brendan is a very good manager. He did great work at Liverpool and was really unlucky to lose his job at Anfield. He was so unfortunate not to win the Premier League with them back in 2014. And then a year later he was gone.
“That told me that football can be a strange game sometimes.
“But Brendan has huge qualities and that’s one of the reasons why it will be very tough for us in Scotland this week. Celtic are a great team with some really good players and they’ve got a top manager.
“To play at Celtic Park will be difficult for us because those supporters are incredible. The crowd will be fantastic for the first match, but, for us, it’s a great place to play football.” he finished.
Liverpool fans were unlikely to have been as surprised.