APPIANO GENTILE – Andrea Ranocchia spoke to Sky Sport 24’s Matteo Barzaghi about the derby and his current form in an interview on channel 200.
“I expect to win the game, just like in any derby match you expect to win and that’s it. The best memories I have when talking about games we’ve played against AC Milan are obviously the ones we won, and there are a lot of those, while the worst remains the first derby we lost when I joined. That’s the worst memory I have, the league title was on the line and we lost. The Milan derby is history, passion, it’s always great to play in because of the atmosphere that builds in the week leading up to it. It means so much to the fans, they support you and drive you on.
“We need to be wary of Mario Balotelli. He’s a great player and has so much natural and technical ability. He’s scored a lot of goals this season. I’ve played with him in the national team and he’s always behaved impeccably,” explained the Nerazzurri defender who preferred not to judge Seedorf as a coach: “I’ve not met him personally. He had a lot of experience as a player, but he’s just started his coaching career.”
“Are you sure?” was Ranocchia’s response to a question on whether he thinks Sunday’s derby might be Javier Zanetti’s last as a player. “How do I see him as a manager? He’s intelligent, he’s a man with great values and if he decides to do that, he’ll do it well.”
The Italy stopper then touched on Diego Milito: “It’s important to have him alongside us all week because he shows how a professional always needs to train. He did it on Saturday after the match. He’s an awkward striker for the opposition. Is he still a star? Absolutely.
“Mauro Icardi is progressing, he came from Sampdoria to Inter which brings with it a whole different level of pressure. He needs to work hard on a daily basis to keep on improving.”
Andrea then spoke about his own form: “It’s been really good of late both physically and psychologically, one of the best periods I’ve had since I joined the club. I’ve found consistency and want to keep going like this till the end of the season.”
What about his future? “Nothing’s happening at the moment, we’ve decided to meet at the end of the season to see how we can move forward together.”
Finally, a word on the World Cup: “I hope to go to Brazil, I’ve found consistency and I want to keep putting in even better performances between now and the end of the season. It’s up to the head coach, but I’m trying to give him a selection headache. Could a goal help me go to Brazil? Two even… maybe one this Sunday. How important would it be for me personally to go to Brazil? I had a big chance of a going in 2010 but then I broke my knee, and it would be a case of reclaiming what that injury took away from me.”