Skip to main content

Zanetti impressed with Miranda impact

Inter legend Javier Zannetti has praised central defender Miranda for quickly establishing himself as the leader within Roberto Mancini's squad.

The Brazil international has been a first-team regular at San Siro since completing his switch from Atletico Madrid in June, starting 12 of Inter's 15 Serie A matches.

With the 31-year-old at the heart of their defence Inter have recorded eight clean sheets – including against Juventus and Roma – as they have charged to the top of the early table.

Zanetti – now Inter vice-president after 19 years as a player – likes what he sees from Miranda and has backed the side's defensive options to continue to impress.

"I'd say Miranda is the figurehead of the side," said Zanetti. "He and Jeison Murillo are doing an excellent job together. 

"However, we shouldn't forget Andrea Ranocchia and Juan Jesus, who have picked up fewer minutes this season, but have always delivered when called upon.    

"The most important thing this year is that Inter have a number of different options."

Zanetti was also impressed with the strength of character within Mancini's whole squad as they put their defeat to Napoli behind them to return to the top of the table by beating Genoa 1-0 last weekend.

He added: "The reaction against Genoa was crucial, now we have to continue in this vein. 

"Winning is always important, but we've got a tough match coming up. Nevertheless, Roberto Mancini and his players will approach it in the right way."

Next up for Inter is Saturday's trip to Udinese, who have not lost at home in any competition since September.