The Roman was effectively sacked as Chelsea boss on the back of his former side's 2004 semi-final defeat when the Frenchman was with MonacoInter boss Claudio Ranieri is hoping to gain revenge for one of the most painful and significant defeats of his coaching career when he goes head-to-head with Didier Deschamps' Marseille in the Champions League last-16.
The Nerazzurri were drawn with the French side in the knockout stages of the tournament on Friday, and Ranieri does not have fond memories of the last time he pitted his wits against the Frenchman in European competition.
It was against Deschamps' Monaco in 2004 that Ranieri's reputation as 'The Tinkerman' was cemented, with his then Chelsea side suffering a semi-final exit at the hands of the Ligue 1 outfit. The disappointing loss was blamed on Ranieri's bizarre tactics and eventually led to him being sacked soon after.
"It's an interesting challenge between Inter and Marseille and between me and Deschamps," the Inter boss told reporters after Friday's draw in Nyon.
"He got the better of me in 2004, when he was coaching Monaco and I was at Chelsea. Now it's time for me to take revenge."
Meanwhile, Inter captain Javier Zanetti is also wary of the Deschamps factor given the former Juventus boss has a detailed knowledge of the Italian scene.
“It is a difficult match, we hope to approach it in form,” the Argentine said. “We know how it went last year with Schalke [in the quarter-finals].
“Marseille? I know Lucho Gonzalez and for them he is a very important player, and then they have a coach that knows Italian football well.”
However, former Inter goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca believes that the draw has not only been kind to the Nerazzurri but also rivals AC Milan.
"Napoli are slightly behind Chelsea, but it's a good draw for Italian teams,” he told Goal.com. “Milan and Inter are favourites against Arsenal and Marseille.”
Inter ambassador Luis Figo is very wary of the threat posed by Marseille but believes that with a fully-fit squad, Inter have the talent at their disposal to reach the quarter-finals.
"They are always a tough side to play against, with an intimidating ground and a multinational team," the Portuguese said.
"We should have a few important players back by then. If we perform as we know we're capable of, we have every chance of doing well."
Inter travel to the Stade Velodrome in February for the first leg, before welcoming Marseille to San Siro the following month.