Stramaccioni wants Italy return
Former Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni has confirmed that his ‘priority’ is to work in Italy again after several years abroad.
Stramaccioni has been out of Italy since leaving Udinese in 2015, going on to coach Panathinaikos, Sparta Prague and Esteghlal FC in Greece, Czech Republic and Iran respectively. After speculation linked him with the role of Iran CT, the 44-year-old says he is now ready to find work back in his homeland.
“My priority remains to coach in Italy because of the fans’ affection and because it has one of the most beautiful leagues in the world,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“I went to Iran because I was able to coach in the Asian Champions League and I went to Sparta Prague because of their badge, but I’d happily return to Italy. Maybe not for a big club but rather a team with some young players, who want to grow with a project.”
The coach guided Inter’s Primavera side to success in the NextGen Series - predecessor to the UEFA Youth League - in 2012 and took charge of their first team just a day later. He earned the position full time but lasted only a season at the helm and did not fare much better at Udinese in 2014-15.
» EDIT: Former Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni discussed his time with the Nerazzurri and what went wrong when he was in charge in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sports Italia yesterday afternoon.
First, he touched on the protests in the street asking for his dismissal.
“Unbelievable. For my part I will always thank them even if it is an unjustified demonstration. I believe that beyond the football issue, the affection of the people has gone further. Maybe it’s because of some fights I had. I represented them for that.”
The Italian moved onto talking about how he started out as a football player before eventually being forced to move into coaching instead at a young age. “When you leave home early you dream of becoming a player, I had left to go and play in Bologna. My parents were always behind me and they made me study all the time, this allowed me to have an identity, even with the dream of being a footballer, and after the third knee injury, that dream went away forever. My body probably wasn’t ideal for playing pro football. And that’s when I started training and with such luck, I started coaching in Serie A. I never would have imagined Iran but coaching in Serie A was definitely a dream.”
Stramaccioni spoke about how former president Massimo Moratti asked him to be the coach of the first team after his success with the youth teams. “Let’s say that Inter’s call as a club has certainly been a great satisfaction, it’s not easy for a Roma youth coach to pass to Inter and then coach the first team. It was the year of the Next Generation win and what we did was followed by Moratti, Ausilio and Branca. “It was a rather unfortunate year, it started with Gasperini who also had a great assistant, Juric, two great coaches. Then came Ranieri, a point of reference for the coaches, and I knew him from Roma. Things went wrong and Moratti did something crazy that changed my life by giving me a two-month contract. It wasn’t a normal team, it was full of champions. And I was a young coach.”
The former Inter coach touched on his eight consecutive wins with Inter, before a fateful game against Antonio Conte’s Juventus. “It was the peak, that game. They were very particular. They were an unbeatable Juve. They were an army that played spectacular football, with no weak points. That match made me understand the importance of the players I trained with, only champions can go and win a match like that in Turin and we played in a reckless way that was the subject of misunderstandings with Marotta. Then we got it straightened out. I was young and I needed training. I also broke my hand in that match because I was in line with the defence and there was a three-yard offside in a goal awarded to them. Then Lichtsteiner should have been sent off. Conte replaced him immediately afterwards because he’s an experienced coach.”
He continued talking about that Derby d’Italia as well as a famous Milanese derby later that season. “Then the penalty was satisfying because it came from a play played by Milito, Cambiasso and Cassano which was beautiful. I had convinced the guys to play with three forwards, Palacio, Milito and Cassano and we didn’t have to score goals right away. I said, ‘Holy crap… we ended up being beaten 6-0. It was a victory of a little bit of Inter spirit. There it was especially with the heroes of the Treble, a moment when there was a spirit of revenge against those who had won everything. In that match and also in the match against Ibra’s AC Milan we won, and we didn’t allow the Rossoneri to win the Scudetto.”
Stramaccioni discussed what started to go wrong for him whilst he was in charge of the Nerazzurri. “A series of factors. In the match against Atalanta we played with Samuel, Ranocchia and Juan Jesus. And in that game, two of them got hurt. It was a measurable defeat, but it was a setback after so many victories. The injuries made us lose confidence.“Especially those of key players. We had built the team to play in a way, then there was also the transfer of Sneijder, there were several changes that led us to play with a 3-4-3. First Samuel was injured, then Stankovic, Milito, Chivu and Zanetti. I don’t know if Javier had ever been hurt before, it seemed like a sign of destiny. That was a tragedy. For a young coach, losing those players was losing pillars in the locker room that were helping me on my way. And those injuries brought difficulties in management, so many Primavera players came into the first team.”
Finally, Stramaccioni spoke about how president Massimo Moratti’s decision to sell the Nerazzurri could have also affected his time in charge. “All the more so because Moratti at that time had started thinking about selling the club. Italian faces began to frequent Pinetina. He began to explain to us that the club was for sale and this certainly brought an earthquake in a club where he was like a father. It was a team that was certainly living in uncertainty about the future. Then as a third problem I certainly put my inexperience, it was already a miracle to have survived. You need more experience to handle everything.”