RANIERI DELIGHTED WITH PROGRESS

New Inter Milan manager Claudio Ranieri has said that he has been extremely pleased with the way Inter have progressed under him. Inter Milan struggled a lot during the initial parts of the campaign, which led to the sacking of the manager Gian Piero Gasperini. Claudio Ranieri was appointed in place of Gian Piero Gasperini and he has been excellent so far.

MATERAZZI BACKS BALOTELLI

It takes a lot to impress a hardened international, a World Cup winner and six times winner of Serie A, but Marco Materazzi remembers being stunned when Mario Balotelli burst on to the scene at Inter - he was THAT good!

Whilst Mario and Marco have both courted controversy since that first day when Balotelli turned up at training, both have proven themselves to be at the top of their game.

Marco remembers the first time he saw Mario, and believes he is destined for greatness.

INTER APPOINT GASPERINI

Inter Milan have appointed Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini as the successor to Leonardo. The 53-year-old Gasperini takes over the Inter hotseat on a two-year contract.

"The official announcement will be made once all the final administrative formalities have been completed," Inter confirmed on their website.

Leonardo's departure paves the way for the Brazilian to take over at PSG, the French side now under the control of Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).

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INTER MILAN LOOKING FOR STRONG FINISH

Inter Milan has said that there will be looking to end the season strongly and get over their disappointments thus.

Inter fell 2-1 at Schalke on Wednesday night and lost the quarter-final 7-3 on aggregate, thus dashing the club's hopes of defending its European title.

"I had dreamed about a great comeback," Inter coach Leonardo said. "Of course we could have done better but we failed to do so.

LEONARDO PRAISES NAGATOMO

Inter Milan manager Leonardo has praised the performance of Yuto Nagatomo, who was extremely good against Sampdoria on Sunday.

Nagatomo, who usually plays left-back, filled in at right-back on this day for Brazilian World Cup defender Maicon, the player he regards as the best fullback in the world.

Former Kashima Antlers man Leonardo said Nagatomo made the transition beautifully as Inter moved within a couple points of leaders AC Milan in the championship race.

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INTER MILAN TO SHOW THEIR GAME

Inter Milan fullback Douglas Maicon has said that he is confident that they will bounce back in the league. Leonardo's side lost 1-0 to Juventus in the Derby d'Italia, but came close to equalising when Samuel Eto'o hit the bar after 89 minutes.

“They deserved the victory, but we pushed until the end and in the second half we massacred them, forcing Juventus to play in their own half even with 10 men behind the ball,” Maicon said.

INTER BAULK AT BALE PRICE

Inter Milan have said that Gareth Bale has been priced out of the reach by Tottenham. Branca revealed that, although the club are interested in the highly-rated Wales international, parting with a £40million fee at this stage is beyond the bounds of the Italian giants.

Inter have been the centre of much speculation during the January window, with the capture of Sampdoria striker Giampaolo Pazzini, as well as the loan signing of Genoa's Houssine Kharja.

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LEONARDO HAILS INTER CHARACTER

Inter Milan manager Leonardo has said that he is very proud of his team's character. Inter Milan coach Leonardo hailed his team's show of heart after they fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Catania on Sunday.

That closed the champions to within 11 points of top spot with two games in hand.

It was their fighting spirit that most pleased the new boss, who has won his two games in charge since taking over from Rafael Benitez.

"We struggled in the first half because Catania were well organised," said Leonardo.

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LEONARDO TAKES CHARGE

Leonardo has replaced Rafael Benitez as the coach of Inter Milan this week. Brazilian World Cup winner Leonardo will take up the reins on 29 December and his contract runs until June 2012.

Benitez was sacked after six months in the job after asking the Inter board to back him in the transfer market.

"We believe Leonardo has the class and experience of a champion and his mentality will get the team together to get results," Inter's website read.

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BENITEZ UNDER PRESSURE

The pressure on Inter Milan manager Rafa Benitez is becoming increasingly clear for everyone to see. Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez can expect to feel the pressure again this season after his makeshift team threw away the chance to top Champions League Group A, slumping to a 3-0 defeat at Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

The Germans, already eliminated after failing to win a match in their group until Tuesday, struck three times and hit the woodwork twice as the sluggish Italians looked nothing like the side that won the trophy last season.

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