Thursday February 21 2019
Ranocchia: 'Step back to go forward'

Andrea Ranocchia admits Inter have improved after the Mauro Icardi saga. “Sometimes you need to take a step back to go forward.”

The defender was on target with a sensational volley in the 4-0 Europa League victory over Rapid Vienna, sending them through to the final 16 with a 5-0 aggregate result.

“It was important to go through and we did it convincingly. We are happy, but there’s a long way to go and we want to reach the final of this competition,” Ranocchia told Sky Sport Italia.

He was asked if losing Icardi, whether to injury or anything else, had helped shake up the Inter squad and rediscover their unity.

“It’s certainly a response from the group, we came together and brought out something extra. Sometimes you need to take a step back to go forward.”

Ranocchia was the Inter captain a few years ago and now barely features, but has been held up as an example of commitment and professionalism, as confirmed by the rush to hug him after his goal.

“I found out before the game that I would start. It’s not easy when you don’t play regularly, but I feel in good shape and it was a good game.

“I think my teammates like me! I try to prove myself and what I’m all about during the week, not just in a match situation, and do what is best for Inter.

“Mauro is an Inter player, regardless of the captain’s armband. He has done so much for us in recent years, so of course we’ll welcome him back with open arms when he returns.”

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