Ranocchia: "Third place? Sure we believe"

MILAN – Andrea Ranocchia was among the Nerazzurri players attending the 17th edition of the San Siro Gentleman Awards. He gave an interview as he arrived at the Hotel Marriott ahead of the ceremony: "Third place? We believed in it before and we believe in it even more now. It’s a target that many people said was beyond us but we never wrote off our chances.

"Will Stramaccioni stay next year? That’s up to the president to decide. Certainly the president and the club have shown a lot of belief in him from day one and they were right to do so. He’s a young coach with innovative ideas. He’s injected new life into the team: he’s brought calmness, strengthened us as a unit and also our desire to keep believing until the end. We all get on well with him.

"The Italy team? I hope so. I’ve had a few injuries this year and I haven’t played an awful lot but I hope to make the squad. I’ve spoken to Prandelli and told him that I’m fit now. I feel in good shape and I hope to feature as much as possible between now and the end.

"Do I feel I have what it takes to play for Inter? Yes. Have I ever thought of leaving? No, I want to honour this shirt and I wear with great pride.

"The derby? Let’s focus on the two games we have coming up before then; we’ll worry about the derby later."

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