Wednesday January 11 2012
Zarate can be a champion but…

Inter boss Claudio Ranieri has admitted that enigmatic forward Mauro Zarate does frustrate him.

The Argentine joined the Nerazzurri on loan from Lazio in the summer, but he’s struggled to impress at San Siro.

“He’s a golden boy,” the tactician told the Corriere della Sera. “He also has everything needed to be a champion.

“But I do sometimes despair. At times I realise that I need to throw him into a game, but he doesn’t touch the ball, he doesn’t chase opponents, he just watches the match.

“Then, the day after, he is a phenomenon in training. I then say to him: ‘Why didn’t you do that yesterday?’

“It saddens me, but I can’t let him play with an earpiece in. Maybe it’s my fault too, because I can’t seem to find the key to get into Zarate’s heart.”

The South American, linked with a January return to Lazio, has scored one goal in 18 appearances across all competitions for the Nerazzurri.

While Zarate continues to struggle, Inter are on the comeback trail having won their last five games in Serie A.

“We still haven’t done anything yet,” the former Roma boss added. “We have margins of improvement.

“The derby this weekend? There is passion and it is my job to control the emotions. Milan will have more pressure on them than us, but the derby that will really count will be on May 6.

“That is at least the hope as it would mean that we are still in contention for an important objective.”