Inter Milan made mistake appointing Rafa Benitez - Massimo Moratti

Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has spoken about his "mistake" in appointing Rafa Benitez as the man to replace Jose Mourinho after he left the club having won a league, cup and Champions League Treble in 2010.

Speaking in Milan on Tuesday evening, Moratti said Benitez is "a great professional, but there was a huge difference between his communicative character and relationships [compared to Mourinho]."

"We made a mistake appointing him," Moratti is quoted by La Gazzetta di Parma. "I didn't do anything to annoy him, but it got to the stage where I actually wanted to because it seemed like we were not permitted to celebrate anything because we were living in a climate of terror and we all had to be careful not to offend anybody.

"There was no enthusiasm in this situation, and that is what you need to win things."

Roberto Mancini has finally brought some of this enthusiasm back to the club, and Moratti still believes he can lead the Nerazzurri into the Champions League next season. Inter are currently four points behind third-placed Roma with five games of the season remaining.

"I believe and hope we can do it," he is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Mancini's done it in England, he did it at Parma, winning the Scudetto [on the final day of the season], and he's capable of doing it again. And I hope [Claudio] Ranieri wins the Premier League with Leicester too -- the whole of Italy is supporting him."

Qualifying for the Champions League would just be the start though, with Inter's vice-president Javier Zanetti speaking of a bright future while on a visit to Shanghai.

"Together with the president [Erick] Thohir and Massimo Moratti, we want to build an even stronger Inter," he said.

"We know we have a great number of fans in China and we're delighted with this. Our aim is still to connect even more with them because it's a very important market for us and if we can find a partner here, it could be important for us because we want our team to be a leading protagonist in Italy and in Europe."