Marco Materazzi has given his support to new Inter manager Antonio Conte, after the former Juventus man was appointed on a three-year contract.
Though the 49-year-old Conte has been highly successful throughout his managerial career, the decision to appoint a man synonymous with rivals Juventus has surprised some fans.
Former Inter and Italy defender Materazzi admits that this may pose a challenge for the incoming manager, but thinks he can be a real success at San Siro.
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“I hope the club can achieve all the results that the Interisti are dreaming of and I hope Conte can win over the hearts of the fans,” Materazzi told Sky Sport Italia.
“It won’t be easy, because you can’t forget or cancel out the past, but he is hungry for success.
“With desire and effort, the Inter fans will grow to love him. It’s up to him to win over everyone’s trust.”
Conte returns to the Italian domestic scene for the first time since 2014, when he departed Juventus after winning three successive Serie A titles.
He then spent two years as manager of the Italian national side before moving to Chelsea, where he won the Premier League in 2016-17 and an FA Cup the following season.
Fate hasn’t been as kind to Inter in recent years. After the famous treble under Jose Mourinho in 2009-10, they haven’t lifted another title since their Coppa Italia win the previous season.
Former manager Luciano Spalletti was dismissed on Thursday despite a fourth-place finish in Serie A which ensured Champions League qualification for the second consecutive season after a six-year absence.
Inter have high aspirations for the future, however, and Conte’s wealth of experience at the top end of the game saw him targeted as the man to take the club to the next level.
Whatever the future holds for Inter and Conte, it seems certain that they are in for a busy first summer together.
Rumours have been circling around the future of star striker Icardi, while it is also thought Conte may return to the Premier League as he looks to bolster his new squad.