Marotta and Conte Propelling Inter Forward With A Clear Vision

When Giuseppe Marotta was appointed as Inter’s sporting director after an abrupt departure from Juventus, the nerazzurri sent a clear message of intent to the rest of the league.

Rather than being satisfied with vying for a place in the top four, Inter wanted to emerge as contenders once more. Gone are the days of Pazza Inter and they have since been replaced with stability and a particular focus on the team rather than the individual. Marotta’s track record is impressive within Italy, and he played a major role in Juventus’ ascent back to the top of Italian and European football.

However, much of this success couldn’t have been achieved without the initial groundwork laid down by Antonio Conte in 2011. In the tactician’s first season, Juve’s roster was nowhere near what it is today, and frankly was inferior to Massimiliano Allegri’s Milan that they were up against. Instilling this belief of ‘us v them’ and bringing back a sense of accountability to the side, Juventus won their first Scudetto in years against all the odds.

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To this day, It remains a mystery how the bianconeri would finish that season undefeated with the likes of Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic leading the line and Paolo De Ceglie featuring regularly. At the same time, however, Juve’s success with limited resources was a testament to Conte’s great work.

Now reunited with Marotta at Inter, expect no less from the veteran tactician. The duo have been together in Milan for a mere couple of months and have already banished notorious bad apples, Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan from the club.

As per Bleacher Report, Marotta proclaimed neither player had a spot in Conte’s team. “Talent can win you games, but the squad wins you the league, which is the main objective we are setting out for,” said Marotta. “They are not part of our project, with all due respect.”

While both Icardi and Nainggolan have been among Inter’s top performers and are a major reason behind their recent Champions League qualification, their exclusions show that Conte and Marotta are ready to build a true team rather than a collection of talented individuals; something that the Inter brass have struggled with in the past. If the nerazzurri’s summer activity is anything to go by, you can already see the duo’s work slowly being put into place.

Much like it was the case at Juventus, Marotta turned to a free transfer to shore up a squad need, and brought in Diego Godin from Atletico Madrid. The Uruguayan is among the best defenders in the world and will fit like a glove in Conte’s back three alongside Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij. In many ways, this is Inter’s version of Juventus’ BBC, albeit with way more to prove.

Diego Godin

Outside of defence, Inter have secured Italian internationals Nicolo Barella and Stefano Sensi for their midfield. Both players are the archetypal Conte midfielders and possess the qualities the former Chelsea tactician demands. Determined, technical and team-oriented. In Inter’s new-look midfield, Barella will act as a mezz’ala (#8) making late runs into the box much like Marchisio did at Juve while Sensi will be used as the side’s regista. In this role, the former Sassuolo man will be able to make the most of his range of passing and in many ways, will be a poor man’s Andrea Pirlo for Conte.

Realizing that centre midfield wasn’t their only need, Marotta quickly concluded a deal for Valentino Lazaro. At just 23 years old, the fullback has demonstrated he’s a hard worker and is the prototypical two-way player. Lazaro will be a much welcomed addition down the right-hand side; think Stephan Lichtsteiner but with more upside and end-product.

To round off Conte’s 3-5-2, he has requested Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku. While the Belgian has blown hot and cold for the Red Devils, finding the back of the net has never been an issue for the former Chelsea man. With his towering physique and keen eye for goal, expect the 26-year-old to slot in wonderfully alongside Lautaro Martinez. Martinez and Lukaku are the typical, hard-working, ‘small-big’ partnership Conte has turned to in the past. Think Vucinic-Giovinco, Tevez-Llorente, Eder-Pelle, and so on and so forth. Inter are reportedly tabling their first bid for the striker shortly and have prioritized the Belgian.

With both Conte and Marotta leaving Juventus on poor terms in their own way, the duo have now reconnected at their fiercest rivals and are well on their way at creating a Juventus 2.0, but this time, in Milano. Banishing drama-kings Icardi and Nainggolan was the first step, followed by the acquisitions of prototypical Conte players. It may not end the same way as the league is much stronger than it was in years past, but one thing’s for sure: Linking up Conte and Marotta is Inter’s best bet at silverware in nearly a decade.

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Fabio Paratici talks plus international call-ups

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Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici received yesterday the Manlio Scopigno Award and talked to the press in that occasion, starting with his new leading role: “Operating behind the scenes suited me, not just because of corporate choice, but due to my character. Things will change now, but I will keep working to make Juventus more competitive. I share this award with my co-workers and I dedicate it to Giuseppe Marotta, who groomed me and taught me a lot. I will forever be thankful for what he has done.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo: “He has our full support, we hold him in high regard. Continue reading

Giuseppe Marotta talks Juventus exit plus updates

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Giuseppe Marotta spoke to Rai Sport yesterday about his upcoming departure: “I follow the ideas and the directives for the sake of the club. It is too strong to say that I was dismissed. I am a corporate man, so I embrace this company line. I understand and it is fair to think that it is time for other people to step up. I have given my 100 percent in these years and we have achieved great accomplishments and I hope my successors will be able to do the same.”

“It is painful because the working life and sports world are full of feelings. I lived through many emotions in these years and they were all positive. Continue reading

Giuseppe Marotta to leave Juventus board

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In a blindsiding piece of new just after the Napoli clash ended, Giuseppe Marotta announced that he is leaving his current position as CEO and General Manager of Juventus. Here are his words: “My mandate as CEO will expire on October the 25th and the club is going through a profound renewal so, as a result, my name will not be in the list of board members that will be released on Monday. As for now, I will retain my role as technical director and will discuss with president Andrea Agnelli for how long.”

“We are parting ways and I am a little emotional about it. The eight years I spent here were wonderful, accompanied by many victories. Juventus will always have a place in my heart, like the people who represent this team. Continue reading

Giorgio Chiellini comments on his Azzurri return

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Giorgio Chiellini had started to mull on his international future after the defeat against Sweden in the World Cup play-off, but not only he ended up returning, but he was also named captain by new coach Roberto Mancini. He replaced fellow teammate Leonardo Bonucci, who had received the armband from Gianluigi Buffon by default, since he was the most capped player during the Luigi Di Biagio interregnum.

He commented on his decision talking to RAI prior to last night’s game against Poland: “I evaluated the situation, I talked about it with my friends. I was uncertain, but right from the next morning there was a serene atmosphere and a great desire to move on and not to think about what happened. Continue reading