Ranocchia: “We have to work as a team to get through this”


The Nerazzurri defender’s responses to questions from the fans

MILAN - Our latest chat with a Nerazzurri player from home saw us speak to Andrea Ranocchia, who answered questions from the fans and spoke about the difficult time we’re all going through: “No one would have expected something like this, neither our generation nor our parents’ had ever experienced a situation like this, but we have to hold on and work as a team to get through this as soon as possible. I’ve been taking some time to myself these past few days. I train twice a day, taking different exercises and drills and adapting them to my home environment. Then I read, cook, listen to music and organise my day. All we can do is stay at home and stay safe, safeguarding ourselves and others. I hope that this all blows over as soon as possible.”

In life, just like in sport, it’s so important to face the difficult moments in the best way possible, all in order to come out the other side even stronger: “On both a sporting and personal level, I too have experienced difficult moments, we’ve all had highs and lows in our lives. There have also been difficult footballing moments, but they’ve always been opportunities for great growth and awareness to improve in the future. Difficulties help to train you up, and to this day I’m happy with what I’ve done and what I’ve created from the start of my career, especially on a human level, which is of vital importance for a footballer.”

Our Nerazzurri defender touched on a few facts from his career, from the emotions of his debut all the way to today’s Inter side: “My first appearance at San Siro was as an opponent, it was actually my Serie A debut, I was at Bari and we drew with the Treble-winning Inter side, it was such a great game and an unforgettable feeling. My debut for Inter was special because it came in Catania, I came on for a few minutes at the end and I remember the emotion of it, because officially coming into a team who won everything the year before is a unique feeling, playing next to those players was just the best thing in my eyes. We’ve got a great team, we need to keep on growing but the Club has made a lot of good signings. Conte? He hasn’t changed compared to the past, his training methods have changed a bit but he still has the same warrior spirit, that fire inside that has always made him stand out, that’s his strength.”

Then moving on to his most memorable moments in a Nerazzurri shirt: “There have been so many big moments with Inter, obviously the joys are linked to the trophies, I remember when we won the Coppa Italia against Palermo in Rome, winning in this shirt is something else, it’s unique. That clearance against Bayern Munich is another great memory, preventing that goal made me so proud, along with the fact that we managed to progress through the round away to such a strong side. It was only a fraction of a second but it’s a memory I’ll never forget.”

There were also different feelings while wearing the captain’s armband: “Wearing that armband after Zanetti was a great legacy, a great source of pride and a huge responsibility. Not everyone gets the chance to wear the armband for such an important Club, it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Plenty of Nerazzurri memories for Andrea Ranocchia: “Surely the most important Inter goals were Milito’s in the Champions League final. Those are the goals that people remember the most, even though all of the others to even just get to that point were fundamental too. Coming into the dressing room the year afterwards, to have known those players from up close was just wonderful. I’m still in touch with so many of the players from past Inter sides, I spoke to Materazzi a few days ago, I see Zanetti often, then Stankovic, Chivu. I saw Cambiasso not too long ago, I wrote to Milito on Instagram, Jonathan too.”

On his first footballing idols: “When I was little I played up front, I was already very tall and I could run so they put me in attack, my idol was Ronaldo “El Fenomeno”. Then when I became a central defender Nesta was always my inspiration, beyond a love of football, on a human level and out on the pitch. I’ve swapped several shirts with opponents, I have a storage room full of them that I’ll sort out one day, and I’m sure I’ll be reminded of all the memories of games I’ve played. Then there are some special shirts I’ve kept for myself for my own collection, because I’ve kept an Inter shirt from every year since I started playing football. I have four shirts hung up in my bedroom, one from Zanetti, from the year I played with him, which is signed with a note for me, one from Nesta, one from Buffon from the National Team and one from Maldini when I crossed paths with him while playing for Bari. They’re a selection of the players who have marked the history of the most recent decades of football, then I also have one from Totti, another icon.”

Finally, a word on his teammates, the future and Esposito’s video message: “I often come up against him on the training pitch, he has so much talent, more than I’d expect for a player of his age. The future? I’m thinking about what to do next, I don’t know yet, I’d like to stay in the world of football and work with youngsters. But I have a few ideas and I’ll consider it all once I’m finished. I’ve got a passion for this game so leaving it will be difficult. The best-looking player in the team? I often make fun of D’Ambrosio for this because he’s always precise, impeccable, but Brozovic takes care of himself too, I can’t wait to see him again!”

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