PINZOLO, Italy (AP) — Inter Milan coach Walter Mazzarri has earmarked defender Andrea Ranocchia to take over the captaincy from the recently retired Javier Zanetti.
As the Nerazzurri opened preseason training, coach Walter Mazzarri said: "Ranocchia seems best suited for this responsibility."
The 26-year-old Ranocchia made his debut for Inter midway through the 2010-11 season and has become a dependable starter. He was a back-up in Italy's World Cup squad but was sent home before the Azzurri's opener.
Zanetti had a 15-year reign as captain before retiring at the end of last season. He's staying with the club as vice president.
Mazzarri adds that one of the focuses early on will be getting newly signed Nemanja Vidic accustomed to his three-man defense, "since he's never played with this system."