Stramaccioni takes on 'dream' job at Inter Milan


MILAN (AP) -- Andrea Stramaccioni held his first news conference as Inter Milan's coach on Tuesday, describing the job as a dream and an honor.

The 36-year-old is Inter's third coach of a rocky season. Claudio Ranieri was fired on Monday after six months in charge. He had taken over from Gian Piero Gasperini, who lasted only five games at the start of the season.

Stramaccioni was promoted from his position as youth team coach and becomes the club's fifth manager since Jose Mourinho departed after leading Inter to a treble in 2010.

"It was a completely unexpected call," Stramaccioni said. "A dream that president (Massimo) Moratto has gifted to me and I hope to honor it.

"The first team is a completely different world and far away from the youth team. It is an honor to coach these great champions."

Ranieri's fate was sealed by a 2-0 loss to archrival Juventus on Sunday that took Inter's dreadful run to one win in its last 10 league matches.

The club has been unable to recover from the departure of Samuel Eto'o to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala before the season began. Playmaker Wesley Sneijder has been in and out of the lineup all season due to a series of injuries.

Stramaccioni takes over with Inter eighth in Serie A with nine games remaining, seven points adrift of Champions League qualification.

"There's no fear," Stramaccioni said. "I'm only focused on the work on the pitch. I'm not scared of getting burnt, I have the security which my work gives me, the club is close to me.

"I know that I have to do my work on the pitch and the players will do the rest."

Stramaccioni's long-term future remains unclear, with recently fired Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas leading a list of possible candidates to take over the team at the end of the season.

"Moratti told me to work hard, bring enthusiasm to the squad, take it game by game and make Inter play well," Stramaccioni said. "Then every matter has its own course. There is a desire to lift Inter back to the top again."

Stramaccioni led Inter's youth side to a win over Ajax in the inaugural NextGen Series final Sunday but has never managed in Serie A. At 36, Stramaccioni is two years younger than Inter captain Javier Zanetti.