© foto di Federico De Luca
Andrea Ranocchia is the guest on today's episode of 'A tu per tu,' the show presented by Roberto Scarpini which – via a player interview – looks ahead to Inter's league game the following day.
On inter.it you can find the text version of the show broadcast on Inter Channel.
Andrea, we're heading into three massive games in the fight for third place. There are four sides involved. It really is a fight to the finish...
"Yes, it's a tough fight. We can't finish third with the points we have so we want and need to finish the season well, continuing what we've been showing."
If we look at the games since Andrea Stramaccioni has been in charge, Inter are third in the table behind Juventus and Parma. So essentially tomorrow's game is a six-pointer...
"Yes, we're meeting a side in form, they've got great individual quality up front. We know their strikeforce is very dangerous, but we also know that we need to continue to perform well."
Is it more difficult for a tall defender like you to deal with a striker like Sebastian Giovinco?
"Yes, it's difficult, but I've already played against him. Sometimes I've come out on top, on others he has. When you're on the pitch you need to adapt to every type of opponent. In Serie A you come across all sorts of attackers, tall, short, slight, well-built... On many occasions I've heard people say I can't play against players like Giovinco. But that's the not the case, otherwise I'd stop playing, or I'd only play when our opponents had a tall, powerful frontman."
It is, however, more difficult...
"Yes, it's more difficult, but that is especially the case because Giovinco has great technique. He's great at beating players, so you need help from your fellow defenders and the midfield. You need to play as a unit otherwise he can hurt you because he's quick and he's got great technique."
You've just come through a tough time, the sort that you can learn from...
"This is what you need if you want to improve. You can't grow as a player without going through bad times. In football, just like in life, you can't grow without suffering. Yes, I went through a tough time, under a coach who I believe I didn't see eye to eye with, even on a personal level. It's more difficult when you don't play regularly, you lose the tempo, your touch, your instincts... It takes a bit of time to get that back, and the first few games were difficult, I wasn't entirely comfortable. I'd played so few games, just five in six months. It's obvious you need a bit of time to bed back in. Now I feel good, even if I'm still not at my best, but I've found a bit more match sharpness in the last two games and I hope to play between now and the end of the season."
Did Cesare Prandelli say anything in particular to you when you met at Appiano?
"No, he just asked how I was."
Are you hopeful of making the squad for the Euros?
"I respect the coach's decisions, and I always will. I realise that, having played so little, it's hard for me to be considered. It's also true that I've already played for the national team so the coach knows me. I obviously hope to be called up, if I'm not I'll just do everything I can to be at my best for next season."
Coming back to Inter. There's a real scrap for third place and Inter appear to have the toughest run-in...
"Our run-in means everything and nothing. Both sides start every game as equals. We need to pick up nine points and then we'll see what happens."
Nine points and perhaps even a goal from Ranocchia...
"I tried to score against Cesena. Let's see what happens in the next few games. I hope so..."