Andrea Ranocchia has no regrets over Hull switch
Hull defender Andrea Ranocchia believes his decision to leave Inter Milan has already been vindicated and is determined to keep proving the doubters wrong.
Ranocchia had fallen out of favour at Inter when he opted to join the Tigers on loan in January until the end of the season, but has formed an impressive partnership with Harry Maguire in central defence.
The 28-year-old Italy international said he arrived with a certain degree of trepidation but is expected to make his fourth successive start at relegation rivals Leicester on Saturday and could not be happier.
"I spoke to other players who had played in England and they said it would be very different and would be difficult, you might struggle," Ranocchia said.
"But I've got here and have phoned them since and said: 'No, it's great. I'm happier here than I was in Italy.'"
Ranocchia, who has made 21 senior appearances for his country, started out at Bari under Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and worked with former Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri at Inter.
But the centre-half made only nine appearances for Inter under current boss Stefano Pioli this season and was tempted by Tigers head coach Marco Silva's offer to start afresh.
"I spent six years at Inter," he said.
"They were great years. They were difficult because playing for a top team in Italy is always going to be difficult. But I had a great experience there and I'm having a great experience here now.
"I've never had any problems with Inter, the people or the club.
"But it was time for a change. I'm getting older now and it was just the right moment to make this choice."
Despite his time under the Serie A spotlight at Inter, Ranocchia said the intensity of life in the Premier League has surprised him.
"It's the best league in the world," he said. "There's nobody who wouldn't want to play here.
"I'm still amazed, even now, at the way people live football and it's something I'd always wanted to do.
"Even with journalists, with fans, everything. It's different from the way it is in Italy and it's great."
Hull have taken eight points from their last six league games under Silva and could climb out of the bottom three with victory at the King Power Stadium, where Ranocchia had been hoping to catch up with Ranieri.
"It would have been nice," he said.
"I've not seen him since I left Inter. I've not seen him for a long time, but the important thing is going to Leicester and picking up points."
Saturday's trip and the visit of another relegation rival, Swansea, to the KCOM Stadium the following week could make or break the Tigers' survival bid.
"It will be a difficult game because it is the start of a series of games against the teams down at the bottom fighting against relegation, and Leicester are doing quite well at the moment," Ranocchia said.
"It will be a difficult game, but we'll be looking for the three points. That's what we'll be working hard towards."
On his own future, the Italian added: "We saw with Ranieri, he won the league one season and he's been sacked the next.
"So we'll get to the end of this season, we'll work hard and then we'll see what happens after that."