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Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti says he — like many of the club’s fans — feels he has been fooled by the Nerazzurri‘s form this season.

Inter were leading Serie A earlier this campaign and went the first 16 games without losing. However, they have failed to win any of their past eight league fixtures, losing two and drawing six, to slip 15 points behind leaders Napoli.

They are now just a point ahead of fifth-placed Roma and risk missing out on a place in next season’s Champions League, which Moratti felt was almost in the bag.

“There is a bit of disappointment — it’s only natural,” Moratti told RAI television. “We had all been fooled, but fooled by real facts because the team had been playing well and getting points. It hurts because we’d filled ourselves with hopes, but this is not the first time this happens.”

Moratti still hopes that coach Luciano Spalletti will be able to turn things around and lead the club into the Champions League for the first time since he relinquished control of the club in 2013.

Inter have failed to win any of the past eight Serie A games.

They have only appeared in the Europa League once since Moratti stepped down, and the club’s new owners — the Suning Group — are keen on returning to Europe’s elite club competition next term, when there could be four Italian clubs in the group stage,

“It’s up to the coach and his staff to find the foundations to build upon,” Moratti said. “All the fans want is to see the team playing again without being so slow or excessively prudent at the back, where many of the players are just trying to avoid being at blame.

“The new arrivals — Rafinha and [Yann] Karamoh — are the ones who we can build our hopes on. They have loads of desire to show what they can do.”

Moratti, on the other hand, has no desire to return to the Inter helm.

“I would never want to disturb the Zhang family,” he added. “They have really good plans for Inter. Let’s see if and how they fulfil them.”

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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