Football: Roberto Mancini slams 'envious' Ruud Gullit

MILAN (AFP) - Former Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini has slammed "envious" Ruud Gullit after the Dutch great suggested the Italian had failed to prepare the club's players for the start of the season.

Mancini was replaced by Frank de Boer, Gullit's former team-mate in the Dutch national side, when he was sacked by the Italian giants on the cusp of the Serie A season.

Inter invested heavily in players during the summer but have made a terrible start under de Boer, losing away to Chievo in their league opener and then being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Palermo.

Gullit suggested Mancini was to blame, the former AC Milan and Chelsea star claiming the respected Italian had failed to prepare Inter for the new season because "he was already thinking of leaving".

Mancini, it appears, has taken the accusation badly. He suggested Gullit was envious because of his own failure to follow his impressive playing career with a coaching career to match.

"Gullit was fortunate to have had a great playing career. Full stop," Mancini said in comments to Radio Incontro Olympia. "In football, when you've been a great player and then you don't succeed in anything else it's sometimes difficult to accept.

"These kind of people like to speak about other players and coaches. If he's a friend of (Frank) de Boer, that's fine. But that doesn't give him the right to make these comments.

"But Gullit's not the only one, there are lots like him. Envy is a terrible thing."

Mancini won seven trophies including three consecutive league titles with Inter in a previous spell in charge at the club.

The 51-year-old also ended Manchester City's 44-year wait to be crowned league champions when he steered them to the Premier League title in 2012.

Although Gullit led Chelsea to their first major trophy in 26 years with the FA Cup in 1997, he was controversially sacked by the club soon after.

He then had unsuccessful spells at Newcastle United, Feyenoord, LA Galaxy and Terek Grozny.

In the Russian Premier League, Gullit won three games out of 13 and after he was sacked the club criticised his "party lifestyle".