Fresh from his contract renewal with Inter, Beppe Marotta discussed the future of star striker Lautaro Martinez and what went wrong with defender Milan Skriniar.

The Nerazzurri CEO recently penned a new deal with the club lasting until June 2027, confirming his role for the coming years. He has been a key figure since his arrival in December 2018 and has helped take Inter back to the upper echelons of Italian football.

Marotta plays an active role in the Inter transfer market alongside sporting director Piero Ausilio, working to pick up the right reinforcements for Simone Inzaghi’s squad despite the fairly limited funds available.

Speaking in an interview with Cronache di Spogliatoio via Calciomercato.com, Marotta first discussed the role and leadership qualities of Lautaro.

“Lautaro is first and foremost a very good footballer, but also a very good father. He is a player who has important values within him, he loves Inter as Inter loves him, this is a good concept.

“He wants to stay, and we’re happy to keep him. Today he’s already a talisman because he’s the captain of the team. If you’re given the armband, it’s because there’s a little bit of difference compared to the others.”

He was asked if Cristiano Ronaldo made him angry during their time together at Juventus.

“He was a very good player, he still is and above all he is a great champion. The champion is that person who manages to convey beliefs to his teammates.

“He was a bit of a leader of the team, he was the most famous and he dragged the others into the game. So, it was challenging, but he didn’t make me angry.”

The Inter CEO touched on other roles in football he could’ve explored in his career.

“I had two paths I could follow: either be a director or a journalist. In the first six months I tried to do both, and in the end, I chose to be a director, also because the opportunity arose for me.

“When you gain experience, you can manage situations better. I’m famous because I often go around the question and say nothing, this is an Andreotti way. Or telling white lies, which is political.”

He explained where things went wrong with Skriniar, who left on a free transfer to join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

“There were some differences, some difficulties between him and Inter. This led to the breakdown of the relationship of friendship and belonging that existed between us. Our paths diverged, he went to Paris, and we went forward without him. And I would say good.”

Marotta discussed which low-key signings proved to be key additions to the team.

“There are many examples. The most recent one is that of a great professional who played for the national team, called Matteo Darmian.

“He’s a boy who Ausilio and I bought for very little money and today instead he is a player who is worth much much more than what we paid him, he is one of those who I respect the most for the seriousness he has and for a set of values.

“I hope you take him as an example, Matteo is a boy who has slowly demonstrated his value without the newspapers and television hyping him up.”

He revealed which transfer was the most difficult to complete.

“There is a player today who’s at Juventus called Pogba. He was a little older than you when we signed him, and it was a very complicated deal.

“Because he came from Manchester United, he hadn’t signed a contract so there were many teams that wanted him. It was difficult to negotiate his purchase, it was very complex.”

He backed Inter president Steven Zhang.

“Zhang is young, good, ambitious, he wants to be president of Inter. And so, we hope he stays, we’re all rooting for him.”

Finally, Marotta discussed his next steps after the Nerazzurri.

“In life there’s the possibility of retiring even when you’re younger, and it’s right that everyone follows their own passions. When I say that after football I’d like to go into politics, it’s because I like dealing with the problems of children, in particular in the field of sport.

“In Italy we still have problems, there are no structures, the training fields, the changing rooms are not adequate. I’d like to dedicate myself to doing these things to improve the quality of sport in Italy. It’s something I do with passion and for the good of your younger brothers.”

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