© foto di Giuseppe Celeste/Image Sport
inter.it gives you part 2 of the exclusive interview that Marco Branca, the Nerazzurri’s technical director, gave to Andrea Paventi of Sky Sport 24.
Andrea Ranocchia seems to be the defender turning in the most positive performances so far this season. Was it possible he could have been for sale this summer?
"There are two ways to answer this question: to say 'no' right away or to explain it better. There was never anything to that story and Andrea was always the first one to admit that he didn’t play like he should have last season. We never had the least desire to put him up for sale because when you make choices regarding a player like this you have to be certain of his value. And then if something isn't going right and is affecting his ability to perform well, then you must have the humility to understand why. We’ve always had this humility and fortunately he has it as well, and so we’re working together to get Andrea back to his old level."
Let's talk about two transfers that didn’t come to fruition; why aren’t Lavezzi and Lucas Inter players today?
"For a very simple reason: because with our capabilities we got the ball rolling sooner, much sooner, than the others. And if we're talking about timing, then you have to fit in with the times of the transfer market, because the first thing that I would say to anyone who comments on this sport, which we truly love, is that from the commentator’s chair you must keep in mind the general economic situation of the given moment. So we started before the others, but we also realised before the others that certain changes – and I don’t want to call them sales – wouldn’t fit. Our club sold players like Maicon and Julio Cesar who made history here, and technically I bought and sold both of them. That’s not something that pleases me but they’re things that must be done, because at a certain point the club and the players need fresh stimulus and motivation. Having said that, it wasn't possible to make decisions at that time without certain financial conditions, so we let them go, also because no one in Italy can compete at certain prices - only four of five clubs in the world can do that."
In your opinion did transfers like those for Fredy Guarin and Alvaro Pereira not quite get the recognition they deserved? Perhaps regarding the Uruguayan you could give us a few more details in particular, since before closing the deal you spent two days practically locked inside the Porto president’s house...
"During my stay there were three teams, two from England and one from Germany, that were practically offering more than we were. The key to the operation? I like my club because it has a certain philosophy, which is not remembering titles or other things, because you won’t ever hear me saying that I’m the most successful director in Inter's history, or that we’ve won this, that or the other thing. There’s a philosophy of considering the good of the team with absolute honesty, both intellectually and practically. They were transfers that were done well, with the maximum possible savings made and we’re all convinced that they’re players who can defend our colours well. As for how they were done that’s a private affair, but I truly have to thank – for the atmosphere, not so much for who came out the better – the Porto president because we had already made even further savings on the first deal, but probably also because those are situations in which a special bond is established between two clubs that are also in harmony as regards the way they have historically been run."
If Mario Balotelli and Mattia Destro were Inter players today, would they leave, considering the current state of the transfer market?
"This was also a question of timing. For example, Mario left after winning the treble and even then we would have had to open a certain type of economic discussion, which didn't start only one or two years ago but probably even earlier. Only that in the past, for reasons of love, passion and attachment, money was spent that shouldn’t have been, as it happens with nearly all of our clubs. Therefore, from a planning perspective you can consider it, but then later if in that particular moment the transfer market offers you only that possibility of cashing in on something then you have to make certain small sacrifices. The same goes for Destro, who we had to sell in an emergency defensive situation because Samuel was hurt and we needed to make an investment in a young, strong Italian. It was also for our future and so to lower certain costs, to buy Andrea Ranocchia, we had to give up Destro who was part of our Primavera team. These things are very simple."
How did you interpret president Moratti’s statement yesterday when he commented on Giampaolo Pazzini’s hat-trick in his AC Milan debut ("We certainly didn’t make ourselves look good on this one").
"Without thinking I think I said something similar about us because I believe that when you make a decision you can comment on it for a day, meaning the next day, but then you need to be convinced of what you do. Once I've said it was a choice for the team made by Inter and by AC Milan, I think it should finish there."
Is he a player you're man-marking or zonal-marking for January?
"No, zonally now. We prefer a modern game."
Considering how this Inter team is constructed, just how far can it go? All the way in all competitions?
"When you're part of Inter you have an obligation; to try to always aim for the top. The intention is to have the mentality to fight for the highest spots. This is the intention, and then clearly the results on the pitch will have their say on the matter."