Wednesday June 7 2017
Melo: ‘Inter in CL with Mancini’

Felipe Melo believes “if Roberto Mancini hadn’t left, Inter would be in the Champions League right now”.

The Nerazzurri finished seventh in the season which just finished, having parted company with Mancio before the first game of the campaign.

Frank de Boer, Stefano Pioli and Stefano Vecchi were unable to get the team to consistently perform, and Luciano Spalletti is widely expected to be in charge for next season.

“If Mancini hadn’t left, Inter would be in the Champions League right now,” Melo, who left for Palmeiras in January, told FCInterNews.

“I have no doubt about that, I can say that 100 per cent. Roberto is Interista, he knows the Nerazzurri very well and he was definitely the best Coach for our team.

“He’s a very intelligent person, a great Coach.

“Last summer was difficult, everyone remembers the big defeats we got between the United States and Oslo, but how many say that we did thousands of kilometres with hardly any players to choose from?

“The same players always played, and we spent more time on aeroplanes than working on the pitch.

“I think of the Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain players, I spoke to them and they couldn’t believe the situation we were in, these great logistical difficulties.

“Mancio was really angry about these issues, and at the same time there was no clarity from the ownership. There was so much confusion.

“I repeat, the boss was perfect for us and you see how the season without him went.”

Melo was also asked about Mauro Icardi, and the midfielder doesn’t feel his former teammate is ready to be captain.

“He’s still very young and he has to grow, but he’s also very strong right now. A phenomenon even.

“If he doesn’t score, Inter don’t win, that’s all too obvious. He’s a phenomenon, he get braces and hat-tricks and he scores in every fashion.

“The captain’s armband is another thing though and I think it’s too much for him. A player who is captain needs to have the respect of the opponent.

“He should be someone that you look at and think ‘jeeze!’. And I’m talking about the opponents too, who should be afraid, in a positive sense, about facing him.

“With Icardi that isn’t the case, there have been too many things in his past and today I don’t see him as a real captain.

“Maybe in a few years, because he’s a champion, but right now he can’t wear the armband. I think Felipe Melo was one of the few Icardi listened too.

“I’ve always spoken well about him personally, because he’s a phenomenon. I want to repeat and emphasise that.

“He’s not ready to be captain though, that’s for sure, the maturity he showed when he apologised for the incidents in his book notwithstanding.

“It takes more than that though, right now he’s not ready.”