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Massimo Moratti Discusses Mourinho, Leonardo and Calciopoli

Big interview with Inter President Massimo Moratti today in La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Inter boss covers a wide variety of subjects ranging from Calciopoli to transfer targets to Mourinho. Here are some of the highlights of the interview:

“The fact that Inter started winning once Calciopoli was over just shows how much of a con the whole thing was for Italian football – it’s further proof of what was going on.” Massimo Moratti spoke once more about Calciopoli during his speech at a seminar for sports journalists entitled “Il calcio e chi lo racconta” (“Football and those who report it”) that is currently taking place at the Coverciano Centre, the headquarters of the Italian F.A.’s ‘Technical Sector’. It was frustrating when people said I was spending money without ever winning anything,” continued the Inter president. “Calciopoli really was obscene, besides being a con financially speaking.”

Massimo Moratti doesn’t seem too worried about his team’s loss in Udine. He blames the first defeat with Leonardo as coach on fatigue: “You lose games sometimes. Perhaps the team was a bit tired but Udinese played very well and you have to accept that. We got off to a good start ourselves, and maybe for a moment the players thought they were in control of the game after going ahead, but the way Udinese played it wouldn’t have been easy for any team, so you have to give just credit to the opponents.” Still, there’s a long way to go in the league and championship race is wide open: “The players would never think about giving up after a defeat. Winning the Scudetto must remain our target.”

This is the week when lots of things will be decided in the transfer market. “A striker? We’ve been looking around for a while; we’ll see what happens. But Amauri isn’t for sale and he’s not a player we’re interested in. We don’t need to change anything at Inter, just add something maybe to take some of the pressure off the group because with a 20-team league you end up playing so many games. With regard to Eto’o’s comments about the players being responsible for the demise of Benitez: “Footballers are serious people and I like the fact they are so professional, but that was a decision I took. What do I think of Allegri? He seems very capable, he’s a nice person and he’s good at creating the right atmosphere. He’s shown he can adapt to different situations. Of course, he has great players to work with but it’s not easy to settle in as quickly as he has. Roma are looking strong? Lots of teams are looking strong at the moment.”

The Nerazzurri patron is in favour of introducing financial fair play: “When Platini mentioned my name while talking about financial fair play, some people thought it was a move to make things difficult for me. But I say ‘at last’, because when it happens I’ll be able to stop pouring money into football every day. Running Inter is such an expensive activity that I wouldn’t advise anyone to do it, let alone my own son. I hope the introduction of financial fair play means that football will be different in future. It’s an intelligent initiative but it should be flexible: for example, the penalty if your finances aren’t in line shouldn’t be exclusion from taking part in European competitions; teams could be made to play an extra round instead. The cure for the disease is making sure everyone’s finances are in order, but at the same time you have to preserve the history and prestige of clubs.”

During his speech at the seminar, Moratti also spoke about Mourinho again to comment on the fact that the coach hadn’t been given just recognition in Italy. “Mourinho is the best coach I’ve had. He’s extremely hard-working, he loves football and I’m sorry he hasn’t been recognised for his achievements in Italy.” However, Moratti was quick to clarify that the praise did not mean the coach would be returning in the future: “It doesn’t mean anything. I rate Mourinho, he’s very good and I hope they will reward him in Italy for what he achieved on the pitch. But now I have another coach, Leonardo, whom I rate just as much.”

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