Inter academy director Roberto Samaden is delighted with the progress being made by his club at youth level.
Amidst all the criticism that Italian football is overflowing with foreigners and ageing stars, the official believes the Nerazzurri are on the right path when it comes to developing youngsters.
“In the last Italy Under-21 game, five of the starting eleven had come through our ranks here and a sixth lad of ours came on in the second half,” he commented.
“I don’t think there are too many foreign players in Italy; less than 10 per cent of Inter’s youth setup is made up of foreigners.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Walter Mazzarri is the second highest paid coach in Serie A, trailing only Napoli‘s Rafa Benitez.
Benitez is listed as the best-paid tactician in the Division, pulling in an annual salary after tax of €3.5m, and he is closely followed by predecessor and current Inter boss Walter Mazzarri at Inter, on €3.3m, a wage higher than any Nerazzurro player.
Roma’s Rudi Garcia and Juventus’ Max Allegri are next on the billing with €2.8m and €2.4m salaries respectively, whilst Pippo Inzaghi’s promotion to the Milan bench this summer has netted him €1.5m a year.
Javier Zanetti will be the Inter ambassador around the world, but admits he wants “to stay close to the team.”
The former captain retired this summer and was immediately appointed Vice-President of the club.
“On the one hand the new President of Inter, Erick Thohir, wants to expand the brand in China, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia,” Zanetti told Olè.
“I will be the ambassador. But I also want to stay close to the team, above all to explain to the young players what it means to wear the jersey of this club.”
Walter Mazzarri said Erick Thohir is “the ideal President” when discussing the differences between Inter and Napoli.
The Coach sat down with the Corriere dello Sport newspaper and started with thanks for ex-Nerazzurri boss Jose Mourinho.
“I spend up to 10-12 hours per day in my office. I have to thank Mourinho who created this space, the ideal habitat to work in.
“This Inter resembles me the most. I needed last year to get to know the players, the mentality and the great passion of the Inter fans. We still managed to qualify for Europe, which was by no means to be taken for granted.
Fredy Guarin is “happy at Inter and never requested a transfer,” assured the Colombian’s agent.
The midfielder had been on the verge of joining Zenit, Benfica, Real Madrid and Valencia over the last few days of the summer, but could not agree terms with any of them.
“I want to make it clear that Guarin never requested a transfer,” representative Marcelo Ferreyra told Calciomercato.com.
“Fredy is happy at Inter, always has been and will continue to be. We are absolutely not thinking about the transfer market.
Colombia star Tino Asprilla sees himself in Juan Guillermo Cuadrado and believes this will be Fredy Guarin’s year.
The ex-Parma striker, now 44, is still keeping a close eye on his fellow countrymen in Serie A.
“I think Cuadrado could’ve done even more at the World Cup, but he had such a strong start as did the whole team,” Asprilla told Tuttomercatoweb.
“He is a top player, one of the best around. I think what he’s missing is to make the step up to a better side than Fiorentina. If he could go to Barcelona, for example, he’d be considered one of the best in the world.
Inter have sold the third highest total of season tickets, while the Rafa Benitez era in Napoli is not doing well as Napoli have sold only 6,500 season tickets, less than half what they sold a year ago. That puts them 15th in Serie A behind Sassuolo, Atalanta and Cesena.
A positive preseason helped Inter sell 20,600 season tickets, putting the Nerazzurri in third place behind Juventus, with 28,000 sold, and Roma on 26,606. Trailing Inter are Fiorentina who have sold 20,000 season tickets, Sampdoria 18,000 and Milan 17,350.
Walter Mazzarri blasted the referee after Inter’s 0-0 draw with Torino, as Nemanja Vidic was sent off. “Absurd decisions.”
The opening Serie A game ended goalless, but only thanks to Samir Handanovic parrying a Marcelo Larrondo penalty.
“It was a balanced and difficult game, which we knew it was going to be, as it’s never easy to play in Turin where they sit back and wait for you,” Mazzarri told Sky Sport Italia.
“We tried to win right to the end, but didn’t take our chances. Gary Medel was making his debut and did very well. Overall we played well and it’ll be tough for everyone here.”
Samir Handanovic saved a penalty and Nemanja Vidic was sent off as Torino held Inter to a 0-0 draw.
Both sides won in the Europa League play-offs on Thursday, so confidence was brimming at the Stadio Olimpico. Daniel Osvaldo had a slight groin strain and Rodrigo Palacio was injured, so Mateo Kovacic started behind Mauro Icardi, while Gary Medel and Yann M’Vila received their Serie A debuts. Toro missed Paulo Vitor Barreto, Alexander Farnerud, Perez and the suspended Giuseppe Vives, but above all Alessio Cerci was nowhere to be seen ahead of his transfer to Atletico Madrid.
Javier Zanetti believes that Inter face a ‘difficult’ Europa League group following this afternoon’s draw.
The Nerazzurri were handed clashes against French side Saint-Etienne, Dnipro of Ukraine and Azerbaijan side Qarabag.
And the former defender, who is now on the board at San Siro, has admitted that his team will have to be at 100 per cent to progress.
“All the matches are going to be difficult,” he told Sport Mediaset. “But in the paly-off we’ve proven our quality, so hopefully we can continue along that line.
“The goal is to do as well as possible in every competition, and that includes the Europa League.