Andrea Ranocchia explained how his ex-teammates prepared him to be Inter captain and targets for this season.
The defender sat down with Inter Channel for a Twitter Q&A on Friday night.
“We’ve been working very hard in training with the fans pushing us on. The Coach wants a squad that never lets even a millimetre go. He’s right, as we want to make both our and your dreams true.”
Ranocchia has inherited the captain’s armband from Javier ‘Pupi’ Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso, whose contracts expired this summer.
“Pupi taught me so much and I aspire to be a captain like him. The squad that won the Treble gave their all and I learned from the best.
“I know the Nerazzurri essence after so many years here. I talked to Zanetti the other night and he called me ‘Captain.’ It was an honour to play alongside him.
“As for the players who inspired me, I always looked up to Alessandro Nesta, even if he was on the other side of the city...”
Ranocchia was asked who his craziest teammate was and pointed the finger at Brazilian Jonathan, while Diego Milito was the most talented player he worked with at Inter.
“When Marco Materazzi retired, he said that he would like me to wear the Number 23. I accepted straight away, as he is a friend and has always been close to me.
“The captaincy arrived gradually. It would’ve been different holding up under pressure before, but now I am ready. I’ve slowly learned from great champions and now it’s my turn to pass something on to the others.
“I end every game without my voice. You need to make yourself heard in every area of the team.”
Ranocchia also revealed the vice-captain will probably be Yuto Nagatomo, while their objective for the season is “to win. I’ve never started a campaign expecting not to go all the way. The idea is to win every competition you are involved in.”
There were several months when Ranocchia seemed set to join Juventus, as he was wanted by Coach Antonio Conte – who resigned this week.
“There was always respect with Conte, but my team is Inter and always has been. That’s why I stayed, as I am an Interista.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!