Former Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia has given his recollections of a number of Inter coaches who he played under, ranging from Leonardo all the way to Antonio Conte.
Speaking to Italian news outlet TuttoMercatoWeb, the 35-year-old looked back on his experience working under a number of different coaches during his twelve-year stint as a Nerazzurri player.
Asked about the circumstances surrounding Antonio Conte’s departure as coach, Ranocchia recalled that “I don’t know what happened during those days.”
“Nobody knows what happened outside the club and Conte himself,” he continued.
“I didn’t even want to ask, these are personal relationships and personal decisions.”
“Ultimately everyone has to think about their own future,” Ranocchia said of the coach’s decision to leave at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
Of what Conte gave the players, the former defender named “Mentality, discipline, a way of training, of understanding a match.”
“He attends to all the details in football, his understanding is 360 degrees, he rearranged the entire ecosystem around the team with his methods and put us on a winning path,” Ranocchia said.
“Inter’s history over the last 12 years has been a bit strange,” he noted.
“We went from Moratti who had won everything, then Thohir, and then Suning,” he continued.
“When there are these kinds of changes, it takes time to restore stability to the atmosphere,” the former defender noted.
“But in football you don’t have time, you have a week, time that passes from one game to the next.”
“Spalletti put the first piece of the new Inter in place, which was fundamental.”
“He’s a top coach, who trains players and builds an entire ecosystem,” Ranocchia said of the current Napoli coach.
“But those were season in which we had to come up against a Juventus team who were still among the best teams in the world, and still grappling with a new direction, we did struggle.”
“But it’s Spalletti who brought us back to the Champions League, and we’d also begun to rebuild on a financial level then.”
“Then Conte arrived, who added his discipline, his way of thinking.”
“I’m not saying he’s the only one who’s capable of winning at Inter,” Ranocchia said of Conte, “but at that moment he was the right man to put all the pieces together in the right way to reach the Scudetto.”
Of Spalletti’s time at Inter, Ranocchia said that “His work wasn’t appreciated enough.”
“He laid the foundations,” he said of the current Napoli coach.
“It’s difficult for a team to go from finishing seventh to winning the Scudetto in just one season,” he noted.
“Napoli have been built over years, they’re always in amongst the top places, second, third, second, third… And this year he’s got them even better,” Ranocchia said of Spalletti.
“But yes, Spalletti’s work at Inter has been greatly underrated.”
Of Stefano Pioli, who coached Inter in the 2016-17 season before eventually winning the Serie A title with AC Milan last campaign, Ranocchia said that “Last season I wrote to him, I complimented him.”
“I only worked with him for a few months but he’s a good coach, who builds up the group and has excellent coaching staff,” he said of the Rossoneri coach.
“Winning the title is difficult, anyone who wins it does so because they deserve it.”
Regarding the ill-fated stint in charge of Inter from Frank de Boer, Ranocchia said that “I don’t like speaking badly about people.”
“A coach who doesn’t know Italian football at all is always going to struggle, and he didn’t know Italian football at all,” he said of the Dutchman.
“He didn’t know the footballers, he didn’t know anything.”
“Language was a big problem,” Ranocchia noted of de Boer’s time in charge, “if you can’t convey your message to the team in words it’s hard, we were speaking two different languages.”
“And it was just a period of great confusion at Inter overall,” the former defender noted, “I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t actually remember his time at Inter all that well, he was only there for a couple months.”
Of current Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who also had a short and ill-fated period in charge of Inter, Ranocchia said that “It was difficult for that group to understand Gasperini.”
“He arrived during a period where, to tell you the truth, everything was very hectic,” he added.
“I played under Gasperini, Stramaccioni, Mazzari, but to tell you the truth it’s hard to find consistency when you’re changing coaches and methods all the time,” Ranocchia looked back.
“Doing well during those years was very difficult.”
“And on the contrary, in recent years Inter have started to find a lot more consistency,” Ranocchia noted.
“Even in terms of the coaches who have arrived, Spalletti, Conte, and Inzaghi have always given us the feeling of stability.”