Friday September 23 2011
Ranieri: 'Herrera the reason I'm here'

Claudio Ranieri has reflected on his opening exchanges with the Italian Press, and an interesting link to former Inter Coach Helenio Herrera.

Ranieri was unveiled to the media on Friday and fielded questions on a range of subjects, from how he intends to turn around the club's ailing fortunes to how his past relationship with Jose Mourinho may affect his relationship with the Inter players.

"The first press conference always goes well: the journalists are all good, they ask and they want to know.

"Then we'll see how the second one goes, and the third, but that's all part of the job, at this stage we are vaccinated against them.

"I didn't understand that question about the fans, because it implied that I am not welcome for some Inter supporters. I didn't understand it because I can honestly say that whether I'm in Milan or elsewhere, I have always been respected."

Speaking to Inter Channel, his interviewers then relayed messages from Nerazzurri supporters wishing him well, and describing him as a mild-mannered, well-behaved and very sportsmanlike adversary.

"I think I'm like this all the time; everything I do, I do it with love and passion. Of course there were some skirmishes with José Mourinho, but this is all part of the logic in the press and we played on it, too.

"A verbal argument is one thing, the mutual respect which two people have always had for one another is something different."

Ranieri also embellished on his link to former Inter coaching great Helenio Herrera. During the early 1970s the two crossed paths when the Argentine-born Coach took charge at Roma at the same time a 17-year-old Ranieri was playing in the youth team. Ranieri only made six appearances for the Giallorossi, but cited Herrera's influence.

"Who would Claudio Ranieri be if he were still a player today? Chivu, an outside left. But what I can tell you now is that if I'm here today, it's all thanks to Herrera: it was he who chose me from among a thousand little boys, If Helenio Herrera hadn't been at Roma, I might not have been here today."

The former Parma, Juventus and Roma Coach also revealed he has a sense of humour, ending the interview on a light-hearted note.

"I'd better go now. I have to speak English and if I don't concentrate, people will think Mourinho was right when he said I only know how to say 'good morning' and 'good afternoon'...[smiling]."

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