Luciano Spalletti was elated to see Inter Milan secure a narrow win against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League and went on to explain Mauro Icardi’s situation.
Lautaro Martinez scored the solitary goal in the game from the spot to win the game for Inter but the game was marred by Icardi’s controversy.
The club decided to hand over the captain’s armband to Samir Handanovic following the transfer wrangles with the Argentine. But Spalletti was rather focused on his team’s win.
“The result and the performance were both important. We could’ve done better, but we were up against a team that is organised and strong on the counter,” the Coach told Football Italia.
“I found the pitch a bit sticky and it was tiring to play on it, at least that’s what the players told me. It affected our passing game, but we did well anyway.
“We always seem to get into trouble when it looks easy on paper, so we have to be wary for the second leg. Nothing will change for Rapid Vienna, they’ll still try to play on the counter.”
Inevitably, Spalletti was asked what he will say to Icardi when he returns to base tomorrow.
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“There’s no problem as far as I am concerned, but we’ll see what happens.”
“I think he will react in a professional manner. Just as we had difficulty in making this decision, he had difficulty receiving the news. We go to work, there is nothing different.
“Handanovic was already the captain in the past, even when Mauro was around. We all know him, how well-balanced and professional he is. Samir is someone who knows how to transmit the right values to his teammates both with words and actions.
“He is appreciated in the locker room, a characteristic that Mauro also had in some ways. In terms of character, Handanovic has more experience and more potential as a captain than Mauro.”