Stramaccioni hails 'dream' appointment
Andrea Stramaccioni hailed his appointment as Inter Milan coach as "a dream come true" after being unveiled to the media this afternoon. The 36-year-old was promoted from youth team coach to guide the senior side as a replacement for sacked Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri was shown the door last night with Inter ten points adrift of the third and last UEFA Champions League qualifying place and 22 points below leaders AC Milan in the Serie A table. Stramaccioni, who is Inter's fifth coach in the space of 22 months, said: "It is a beautiful dream come true. It has been totally unexpected, but a dream that club president [Massimo] Moratti has granted me and I will try to do the best I can."
The Rome-born Stramaccioni led the Nerazzurri's youth team to victory in the inaugural NextGen Series in London at the weekend. "The victory in London with the youth team feels like it happened a long time ago considering yesterday's developments," he said. "Only football at this level can give you these emotions."
Stramaccioni has no experience coaching in Italy's top flight and knows the challenge he will face to guide a star-studded side.. "It's obviously a different world," he said. "It's light years away from the youth team. If then you consider you are coaching Inter, one of the top clubs in the world, then the difference goes without saying. But it gives me great pride to coach these great players."
Stramaccioni is focusing solely on the present and not on the future. "I am aware that we have to do well, but we have to take it one game at a time," he said. "My focus since yesterday is in doing well with these players. I want to transmit what I know. Right now it's better just to talk about Sunday's game against Genoa and then build from that."
Inter are eighth in the standings with nine games remaining and have won just one of their last ten league games. "I don't think Inter have been fortunate this season," he said. "But I know this team is strong. I have confidence in the players, in the club and I believe in my work."
Stramaccioni admitted he does feel the sense of responsibility to guide Inter, but he does not think lack of experience will be a disadvantage. "I think if the president has given me this opportunity is because of what he has seen in the work I've done on the pitch in the last six months," he said. "The only certainty that I have is my ideas. I am humble and I want to bring this team back to where it belongs. I don't feel fear. I want to bring enthusiasm."
Ranieri became the fourth manager to be sacked by Inter since Jose Mourinho's departure to Real Madrid in May 2010. Stramaccioni revealed he is a big admirer of Mourinho, who led Inter to an historic Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia treble during a two-year stint with the Nerazzurri outfit.
"Mourinho is one of my idols because I am a young coach and he has won everything," Stramaccioni said. "But my thoughts are not on what he has done and what I will do. I just feel fortunate to have this opportunity."