CdS: Moratti: “Mancini was Destined to Leave Inter…”

August 21, 2016 00:42
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Former Inter president Massimo Moratti granted Corriere dello Sport journalist Walter Veltroni an extensive interview, in which he discussed issues ranging from the new Chinese ownership to Mario Balotelli’s fractious relationship with various coaches. Here at, we provide the most significant of his responses.

What is your impression of the new Inter ownership?

“Excellent, truly excellent. They are people who have worked hard to build their empire. They seem to be in good faith and have genuine passion. I believe they really want to invest in the club and increase its competitiveness. Even if I am not part of these decisions anymore, I get the impression they have not completed the strengthening of the squad.”

What was the most important purchase during your reign?

“Ronaldo, definitely, because no one expected it. It was a big investment, one which many believed to be impossible in Italy. But we managed to reach a deal, from an economic standpoint. It was a dream. Football, as I say, needs dreams. It is like any form of artistry, without beauty it has no market. It is poetry.”

And what of [Mario] Balotelli? From a champion to a player apparently no one wants…

“Look, anyone who understands football recognizes very quickly that he has talent. Balotelli is a pure talent with an innate quality, he knows how to score. However, over the last few years he has undergone a transformation. He was always quite a closed off character, reactive to circumstances. He had a difficult childhood, though the family who adopted him were fantastic. But over time, perhaps because of his success, he exasperated his shyness into aggression. He likes to provoke others to see if they genuinely do care about him. It’s an impossible challenge, acting like this. I hope he can start again, but he needs to work hard and cultivate humility.”

Have you ever failed to sign a player?

“Yes, of course, more than once. Starting with [Eric] Cantona who was a great player with incredible character. I had just become the President back then and I acted too slowly. With Cantona in the squad, Inter would have made a huge first leap forward. Moreover, there was [Zinedine] Zidane whom I wanted to sign but our consultant told us otherwise. Furthermore, I wanted to sign [Francesco] Totti. I knew at the time that A.S. Roma was in financial difficulties so I asked A.S. Roma President [Franco] Sensi about Totti. I told him that I was willing to sign Totti at any price. He looked at me and gave me an answer that I would never forget and at the same time made me respect him even more. He said, “Let’s not talk about Totti.  We could talk about other players if you want to.”’

Was there any signing that turned out to be much more important than others?

“Don’t be surprised if I say [Walter] Samuel. With him, we were able to build a strong wall in our defense. I initially thought that we should focus primarily on offense, and then I realized that without strong defense we would never succeed.

I have made several mistakes over the years. And the recent one was that I failed to sign [Paulo] Dybala, who is a very talented player. He will be a great player.”

Did I miss being President of Inter?

“No, I gladly made the decision to step down after many successes over the years. For me, being President of Inter is a privilege not a job. I am very happy and grateful to have experienced it.”

On treble-winning season…

“It was the best moment in my sporting life. And people were crying for joy. The treble success is something that will remain in the lives of so many people. And, for me personally, the success was the culmination of so many sacrifices, efforts, and commitments from everyone at Inter.”

His thoughts on Jose Mourinho…

“He is a great professional, very serious, and has a great sense of duty. He respects the club and the owners. He is both an exceptional tactician and a great person. I don’t know if this contradicts with the image that he likes to give off. But in any case, thanks to Mourinho that we achieved the historic treble.”

Roberto Mancini…

“We must not forget that Mancini is a champion—both as a player and a coach. He was outstanding with me in his first spell. During his second spell, however, there were lots of expectations, and they kept on getting higher. He didn’t have a good relationship with the club and the results in recent months certainly didn’t help him. It was a relationship that was destined to end.”

Frank de Boer…

“De Boer has impressed me. He is a real expert of football, with a keen understanding of the game and great attention to details.”

Andrea Stramaccioni…

“Stramaccioni is a good coach. He managed to win the NextGen Series with Inter Youth Team. He was appointed to replace [Claudio] Ranieri and managed to end the season well. Then I entrusted him for one full-season. He started the season very, very well. And then he started to experience some difficulties. As we all know, modern football is focused so much on the end result. A project or a coaching job is difficult to be sustained without delivering successful results on the pitch. Now he coaches in Greece. He is a smart, quality coach.”

Tensions between players and coaches…

“There was constant tension between Mario Balotelli and several coaches. And there was also tension between Roberto Baggio and Marcello Lippi. I tried to resolve the tension between them, but it was not easy.”

His thoughts on this Serie A season…

“Juventus has done very well on the transfer market. Retaining the service of [Paul] Pogba in the light of a significant bid [from Manchester United] would be a serious mistake. Juventus succeed on signing [Miralem] Pjanic, who is a versatile player.

Inter also did well in the transfer market to build a winning team. AC Milan, on the other hand, has not been able to make the most of the transfer market due to [Silvio] Berlusconi. Meanwhile, Napoli and Roma have great coaches. All in all, this year is going to be an open championship.”

Source: Corriere dello Sport



By Jordan Russell


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