Santon: ‘Mancini threw me under bus’

Davide Santon thanked Frank de Boer for transforming his Inter career after complaining previous Coach Roberto Mancini “threw me under the bus.”

Describing to Tuttosport a difficult summer in which moves to Napoli, Sunderland and West Ham were turned down due to failing medical tests, the 25-year-old full back fought for his place in the starting line-up at Inter under De Boer, after being frozen out by former boss Mancini.

Davide Santon thanked Frank de Boer for transforming his Inter career after complaining previous Coach Roberto Mancini “threw me under the bus.”

Describing to Tuttosport a difficult summer in which moves to Napoli, Sunderland and West Ham were turned down due to failing medical tests, the 25-year-old full back fought for his place in the starting line-up at Inter under De Boer, after being frozen out by former boss Mancini.

“Summer was hard, Mancini considered me the fourth or fifth choice, and we chose to take different paths to ensure that I did not lose a year.

“Mancini preferred other players to me, which is fine, but I continue to not understand why he wanted to take me back here only to decide I wasn’t good enough after half a season.

“I did not expect that it would end up being my destiny to stay here. You know the story from here. De Boer came in, gave me confidence and I started to play. But I never gave up.

“De Boer helped so much, as he talked to me as soon as he arrived, knowing I had a tough summer and needed time to reach 100 per cent. He said he intended to start me and he did.

“For a player it is important to feel the Coach has faith in him: after De Boer’s words I became convinced that, if I trained well, I really could challenge for my place with anyone.

“Mancini threw me under the bus in the Milan derby. I hadn’t played for four months, he put me in the starting XI without warning when I was not ready to play, physically or mentally. That doesn’t take away from the fact I will always be grateful to Mancini for bringing me back to Inter.”

The former Newcastle United full-back also criticised the medics who said he was unfit to make a transfer.

“It’s true, my knee needs looking after and I cannot play five games in 15 days, but that’s a long way from failing a medical. Instead, it happened. The doctors who said no can think what they like, I can play and have no problems, as everyone can clearly see…”

Santon was then asked about similarities that have been highlighted between himself and legendary Milan defender Paolo Maldini.

“Despite the many comparisons, I always tried to be myself.

"Plus, unfortunately, I have had many physical problems, so those have affected me greatly.

“But I'm glad I never gave up because if you do, it's the end.”

The defender also had words of encouragement for Mario Balotelli, who has scored five goals in three appearances for new club Nice.

“He knows he has to do well and for a striker it means he must score. Despite the fact French league is not one of the best, I think that Nice is the perfect place to restart his career. And Mario will succeed."

Having started for the Azzurri 33 times, Santon went on to describe the time he got a call from Marcello Lippi, who asked him to go to the World Cup in 2010.

“I was lucky enough to be with the national team during the time of Lippi, when the captain was Cannavaro.

“Then, I had the opportunity to go to South Africa when Lippi called me at home and told me 'I want you to come to the World Cup.’

“However, my knee had been recently operated on and, having despite having done all the rehab, I could not go.”

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