Lele Oriali isn’t getting the credit he deserves for Inter’s spectacular form in Serie A, at least according to one former Nerazzurri defender.
Antonio Conte is being widely praised for his work in charge at Inter, whom he has taken eight points clear at the top of the table (with a game in hand).
Cyril Domoraud worked under Oriali during the team manager’s first spell at the club post-retirement and wants the former midfielder to have more praise.
“Oriali’s work is fundamental,” Inter’s former defender told FcInterNews.it on Monday.
“He was with us players and he always spoke with Marcello Lippi.
“He was the middle-man who always gave us a hand when we needed it.
“Oriali was a splendid person for me; he spoke with me, he gave me advice and he supported me.
“Now he’s working with Conte and things are going well; it’ll certainly be in part thanks to him as well.
Domoraud joined Inter following Marcello Lippi’s appointment as head coach in 1999, but his time in Italy did not turn out as planned.
The Ivorian made just 11 appearances in all competitions before returning to France the following autumn.
Despite his individual disappointment, Domoraud preserves fond memories of playing at Inter and in particular training alongside some of the world’s greatest players.
“Inter have remained in my heart,” the former defender added.
“I enjoyed being an Inter player despite not playing much; we’re talking about the only team that’s never been in Serie B.
“I played with some great champions; for me it was an enormous joy and it will remain a great honour just to have trained with them.
“Laurent Blanc was one of the best defenders in the world, Ronaldo was simply Il Fenomeno and Roberto Baggio was just sensational, like Javier Zanetti.
“Christian Vieri was incredible too: him and Ronaldo were two monsters, they formed an unbelievable strike partnership.
“I was overjoyed to sign for the Nerazzurri and I arrived with a lot of hunger to do well, but it’s a shame I got injured in pre-season and I had a groin injury which hampered my season.
“I’d have wanted to leave a mark for the fans and for the coach (Lippi), who was in favour of me signing.”
“I hope to return to Italy one day to watch an Inter match and, who knows, perhaps offer them a player or two from my academy.”