Roberto Mancini said he hoped to lead Saudi Arabia to Asian Cup victory within months as he signed a multi-million dollar deal on Monday, just a fortnight after quitting as Italy coach.
The former Inter Milan and Manchester City boss held up a green shirt that read "Mancini 2027" after inking a contract to stay with the Green Falcons beyond the next World Cup.
Mancini, who has insisted that the oil-rich monarchy had "nothing to do" with his shock Italy exit, was reportedly offered more than $25 million to join the big-spending Saudis.
"I'm not a magician," said the Italian, when asked what he could promise the Saudi people -- before pledging to go for Asian Cup glory in January-February in Qatar.
"Our target is to try to win the Asian Cup after 27 years," he said.
"We have four months. We have four friendly matches. We have two games for the World Cup (qualifiers) and after we have 20 days to prepare for the Asian Cup.
"We know that there are many top teams like Japan, like Australia, like (South) Korea. But I'm sure that we'll go there and we'll try to win."
Mancini, 58, is the latest high-profile acquisition for the world's top oil exporter which has snapped up some of football's biggest players in a spree costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
He arrived in Riyadh just days after Brazilian superstar Neymar was presented to fans in the capital, joining Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and a host of others in the Saudi Pro League.
Building a credible national team is seen as a major plank of the Saudi football transformation, which is part of ambitious plans to reshape the oil-reliant economy and burnish the ultra-conservative country's image.
The Saudis lie 54th in the world rankings, way below some of their Asian Football Confederation peers. The Saudi women's team, which played its first games only last year, is 172nd out of 186 teams.
The Green Falcons, who upset eventual winners Argentina in the group stage at last year's World Cup, have been without a coach since March, when Herve Renard left to take charge of France's women's team.
- Trophy-laden career -
Mancini's resignation from the Italy job came as a major shock, as earlier this month he had been handed responsibility for the country's Under-21 and Under-20 teams.
Mancini, who was replaced by former Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti, had a mixed time in his five years with Italy, despite victory at Euro 2020 which seemed to revitalise a troubled football nation.
But the Azzurri then failed to qualify for last year's World Cup following a disastrous play-off defeat to North Macedonia, the second straight time they missed the world's biggest football tournament.
Mancini won the 1991 Serie A title and four Italian Cups with long-time club Sampdoria, where he starred in attack alongside the recently deceased Gianluca Vialli.
Once becoming a coach he won three more "Scudetti" at Inter Milan -- one assigned to the club in the aftermath of the "Calciopoli" match-fixing scandal -- and then lifted the Premier League trophy with Emirati-owned Manchester City in 2012.
His first match will be a friendly against Costa Rica on September 8 at St James' Park, home of Newcastle United who, like the four top-spending Saudi clubs, are also owned by Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle the Public Investment Fund.
Saudi Arabia will also play a friendly against South Korea will be held in Newcastle on September 12.