Former Inter star Marco Materazzi backs Mauro Icardi for captain, but feels Andrea Ranocchia should’ve left already.
The Nerazzurri face arch rivals Milan in the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday evening. Click here for a match preview.
“Considering what we’ve seen so far this season, it’s only right to call Inter the favourites,” Matrix told FcInterNews.it.
“They are the current Serie A leaders and have more quality. Having said that, I’d prefer to call Milan favourites, because usually the underdogs win this fixture.
“The club signed the right players, the ones they needed, and now must prove they are a team. I wouldn’t talk about the Scudetto, as we are analysing a completely new side here. The primary objective must be qualifying for the Champions League.”
Ranocchia was the Inter captain last term, but has since been bumped down to the bench and the armband given to striker Icardi.
“Ranocchia certainly should’ve asked for greater clarity from Roberto Mancini and the club. To be captain and second choice is frankly disappointing. Now he must do well to react to criticism and climb back up after some unimpressive performances.
“It’s unfair to say it was Ranocchia’s fault, as last season all of Inter wasn’t the real Inter, or at least didn’t play like it. The problems in defence were down to a collection of issues.
“I had already advised Andrea to go elsewhere over the summer, as the fans never really loved him and unfortunately he arrived at Inter during a tricky time.
“In my view, it would be best if he left, but at the start of the transfer window and not right at the end. Teams are built in April or May.
“I am one of Andrea’s greatest admirers and I’m convinced he is one of the top three Italian defenders. Perhaps the Inter fans will think me mad for saying that, but it’s what I believe.
“It’s beyond doubt that if Ranocchia had committed that foul against Carpi rather than Jeison Murillo, it would’ve caused a disastrous response. Fortunately the referee didn’t give the penalty, but we must limit certain challenges.”
Icardi is the captain now after becoming joint Capocannoniere with Verona’s Luca Toni last season.
“I absolutely agree with this decision,” continued Materazzi. “Icardi is someone who gets himself talked about off the field, but above all on it. He’s got balls. He reminds me of myself at times.
“I’ve got Inter in my heart and remain an Interista, but I doubt there’s any space for me there now. Other choices were made, which I respect, then the results will tell us who was right.”