MILAN - "Calling it a holiday is perhaps a stretch too far..." Andrea Stramaccioni joked when contacted by Ivan Zazzaroni and Fabio Caressa for an interview on Deejay Football Club, on the first of two days' "holiday".
Anecdotes, memories, feelings, plans: the Nerazzurri coach touched on a whole host of topics during his chat with the Sky Italia journalists. He recalled his time as a player: "I knew how to kick a ball, but I don't like talking about it much because I'm quite reserved. I do get angry when they compare me to Sacchi though – he really couldn't play... Fears for the future? No, no fears. Although this is the first year for us - whereas others have settled teams - our aim is to be the best again."
Is Sneijder difficult to interpret? "He might be if you don't know him. He's a very particular player. There are certain roles he can't perform but if you provide him with the conditions to express his talent he can make the difference; if not, he can find it difficult. His position is behind the front man, but can also do a job deeper in midfield."
A week on from the derby, the conversation naturally came round to Inter's win over AC Milan: "A lot went on in that game and given the situation we found ourselves in, a derby like that is worth three wins, because it came at an important stage of the season, in a crunch tie and because the team gave me signs I wasn't seeing on 1 April. The foul on Handanovic? You can't touch the keeper when he comes out, and all the players heard the ref's whistle blow after Samir's clearance. It hurts to talk about a disallowed goal, you can't say whether it's right or wrong. But Montolivo did hit it very well..."
So what was the reason behind Inter's win? "There are several reasons. We started off better but then we began to struggle. I'd hoped to cause Milan problems in the second half by bringing on Guarin but it turned into a different game and I never found out." On the future of Alvarez and Jonathan: "They aren't going anywhere, they're our players..."
Then was a surprise for Stramaccioni when he received a phone call from Javier Zanetti. That is, TV and radio presenter Nicola Savino impersonating the captain. "Go to the stadium by taxi? No, I always hitch-hike... I'm always humble, just as long as no one touches my hair..." Savino then starting taking off Stramaccioni, who exclaimed: "You're brilliant. He's an Interista? I learnt that after Maicon's goal." The coach then joked: "I tried to disguise Maicon so he could play last Sunday but it didn't work." And when Savino suggested he should learn the local lingo, Stramaccioni replied, in Milanese dialect, "Mi sun de Milan [I'm from Milan]."