Former Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti has revealed that Rafa Benitez took down Treble photographs whilst the Spaniard was Nerazzurri coach to stamp his authority.
Moratti spoke to Italian broadcaster Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, via FCInterNews, where he also noted that Leonardo restored the Jose Mourinho-era atmosphere as coach, and compared Benitez situation to that of Rudi Garcia at Napoli currently.
Replacing a coach like Jose Mourinho at Inter was always going to be difficult.
Beyond the Portuguese’s skill as a coach, he just seemed to be in exactly the right place to capture lighting in a bottle with the Nerazzurri squad that won the European Treble in the 2009-10 season.
Former Liverpool and Valencia coach Benitez was the man who Moratti brought in to replace Mourinho.
The Spaniard’s achievements in La Liga and the Premier League spoke for themselves when he was appointed.
However, Benitez’s fit into the Nerazzurri culture was like the polar opposite of Mourinho.
Virtually from day one, the Spaniard seemed a bit out of place. By all accounts he never got along very well with the squad, and the reception from fans was similarly poor.
Moratti: Rafa Benitez Took Down Treble Photographs While Inter Coach
Former Roma coach Garcia’s situation at Napoli currently looks to be a bit similar to Benitez’s at Inter.
The Frenchman took over from Luciano Spalletti, who guided the Partenopei to their first Serie A title in over three decades last season.
And Napoli’s form under Garcia has been a pale shadow of last season’s.
Moratti observed that “Garcia is an intelligent guy. But it doesn’t take much to destroy an idyllic atmosphere.”
“The rest of the world is just waiting to criticize Napoli and Garcia,” he noted.
Moratti looked back that “When Benitez arrived it wasn’t a pleasant experience, because he wanted to change the climate that existed within the team.”
“He removed all the photos from Mourinho’s Treble to show who was boss, rather than highlighting the former atmosphere.”
The former Inter President recalled that “Then I sacked him and replaced him with Leonardo, who restored the Mourinho-era atmosphere.”
“We got close to winning the league with the Brazilian on the bench,” he recalled.