Benitez targets six trophies
Appiano Gentile - New Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez vowed on Tuesday that his team will play a more entertaining brand of football next season than it did under his predecessor Jose Mourinho.
The Spanish coach admitted he had a hard act to follow, with Mourinho having led Inter to an unprecedented treble last season, but has targeted a haul of six trophies in his first year in charge.
Inter will be defending the Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup titles, and competing in the World Club Championship, the European Super Cup and the Italian Super Cup.
"Mourinho did great work here, but I'm a different coach," Benitez said at his presentation. "I like winning and playing good football.
"I like this club, which is at the highest level, and together we will do our best to maintain this high level. This team had an almost perfect year and now we want to continue with this winning mentality."
Mourinho, who was hired by Real Madrid last month, won the Italian league in his first season with Inter before leading the club to the treble in his second.
But despite his success, the Portuguese coach was often criticized for his functional style of play.
"What is good football?" Benitez said. "It changes from person to person and depends on a lot of things. The mindset should be to win playing well.
"Inter's players are good and want to play good, winning football, but the most important thing is winning. Then you can improve and play a better style of football."
Benitez set his sights on winning a clean sweep of trophies in his first year in Italian football.
"After this excellent season, Inter has the chance to win six trophies and we will do all we can to win them," Benitez said.
"I am very happy with the players we have here. They are of the highest standard and if we can keep the winning mentality, it will be perfect. It is always hard to improve a team that has won a lot but the team has a winning mentality and needs to keep it."
Benitez signed a two-year deal with Inter, having parted company with Liverpool after six years in charge.
He won the 2005 Champions League in his first season with Liverpool and followed that up a year later with victory over West Ham in the FA Cup final. However, he was unable to halt Liverpool's run without an English title that dates back to 1990, and had to watch as rival Manchester United equaled the club's record of 18 championship wins.
Before joining Liverpool, Benitez won the UEFA Cup and two Spanish league titles with Valencia.
Benitez has inherited a squad packed full of talent but some of his players already have been linked with moves away from the San Siro.
There is speculation Brazil right back Maicon could join Mourinho in Madrid while Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o was unhappy at being played out of position on the right of an attacking trident, rather than as a center forward.
"We have a lot of high quality players and Maicon is one of them," Benitez said. "I hope that all the Inter players at the World Cup do well, including Maicon because it is important for us.
"Eto'o is an intelligent and excellent player who knows that the club is the most important thing. If we play with the same system, he will do it again and he can do it again."
For gorgeous gifts at gorgeous prices, click here for the ultimate Christmas gift guide from Clicks.