Zanetti: Mazzarri can reignite Inter
Inter Milan captain Javier Zanetti believes his side can recover from their disappointing season by challenging for honours again under Walter Mazzarri in 2013-14.
Zanetti, 39, who will miss at least the first half of the campaign after rupturing the Achilles tendon in his left foot last April, believes the former Napoli coach is the right man to restore glory to the Nerazzurri, who have not won a trophy for two seasons.
Last season saw Inter finish ninth - their worst position since 1994 - meaning they do not have European football next season. But Zanetti says that means they can focus fully on restoring their pride in the league.
"Not to win for two years after winning everything in the previous seven is only human, and that's fair enough, but now we are obliged to get back to being Inter again," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Juve are not unbeatable. We beat them [at the Juventus Stadium] last season, even though it is hard to defeat them. I want to get to April 2014 still within reach of the summit and knowing that we can still challenge for the Scudetto."
Inter have struggled since Jose Mourinho left for Real Madrid after guiding them to the treble in 2009-10. Rafa Benitez, Leonardo, Gianpiero Gasperini, Claudio Ranieri and Andrea Stramaccioni have all failed to reignite the spark - but Zanetti believes Mazzarri could do just that.
"His career speaks for a coach who has always given determination and character," he added. "He wants a starring role in Serie A, and so do we. He wanted Inter, he desired us, and this has got to be a stimulus for us all."
Inter report for pre-season training at their Pinetina training facility on Monday before moving to their traditional mountain retreat, Pinzolo, from Wednesday until July 23.