Appointing Benitez was a mistake – Moratti

The former Inter president has admitted the club should never have chosen the Spanish coach to follow Jose Mourinho at San Siro after they won the Champions League

Former Inter president Massimo Moratti has admitted it was a mistake to replace Jose Mourinho with Rafael Benitez in 2010.

Mourinho had just won the treble with Inter when he departed to join Real Madrid, ending a two-year association with the Italian giants.

And Moratti has admitted he went after the wrong coach, criticising Benitez for the way he tried to distance the club from the memories of the treble-winning season.

“We went after the wrong coach,” Moratti told reporters.

“Benitez was alert and prepared, a great connoisseur of football, but there was a huge difference in terms of his character and how he communicated with club.
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“Benitez felt the weight of wanting to win everything, but asked that everything that happened in the past be forgotten.

“We were afraid to look back and be proud of what we had done.

“We could not celebrate, and so there was no longer the enthusiasm of the previous season.”

Current Newcastle United Benitez was appointed as Inter coach in June 2010 and sacked in December, with the club sitting 13 points off the league leaders.

The Nerazzurri have struggled since but have improved under Roberto Mancini this term. While they currently sit 18 points behind Juventus, they are fighting for Champions League qualification and Moratti is hopeful of bigger and better things under Mancini.

“We believe and we remain hopeful,” Moratti said. “Mancini battled back in England … and he can do it again.”