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'It's not Ranieri v Deschamps, it's Marseille v Inter'

"It's not Ranieri v Deschamps, it's Marseille v Inter," said Olympique de Marseille coach Didier Deschamps as he prepares to meet FC Internazionale Milano's Claudio Ranieri once more.

'It's not Ranieri v Deschamps, it's Marseille v Inter'
'It's not Ranieri v Deschamps, it's Marseille v Inter' ©UEFA.com

Victorious with AS Monaco FC against Claudio Ranieri's Chelsea FC in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Didier Deschamps does not expect a desire for revenge to come into play when Olympique de Marseille and FC Internazionale Milano meet in the first leg of their round of 16 tie on Wednesday.

Monaco won 5-3 on aggregate in the last four eight seasons ago before going on to lose the final against FC Porto. Ranieri, meanwhile, was relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge at the end of that campaign and has since enjoyed spells at Valencia CF, Parma FC, Juventus and AS Roma. He is now at the Inter helm and, despite having mixed success since his appointment last September, Deschamps insists the Nerazzurri are favourites.

"We're not in the same category as them, but we still have a chance to qualify," he said. "Inter are one of the seven or eight big European clubs whose objective is to be European champions. Our aim was to get to the last 16 in the winter, and then if we got further, we'd have exceeded our ambitions."

What of Ranieri's wish to avenge that reverse all those years ago? "I don't think there's such a thing as revenge in football," he said. "There's history – what happened, happened, and it went well for me, and less well for him – and now it's a new chapter. I think from my side, and from his too, there's lots of respect, but it's not Ranieri v Deschamps. It's really about Marseille against Inter."

View the full interview with Deschamps and OM defender Nicolas N'Koulou in the video above.

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