Andrea Ranocchia spent most of his playing career in Italy, barring a short spell at Hull City.

The 35-year-old retired from professional football last September, just months after he joined Monza. An injury on his debut against Napoli convinced him to hang up his boots.

TuttoMercatoWeb had a detailed chat with the former defender, where he explained how the time spent at Hull City helped him.

The Tigers took the Italian on loan from Inter Milan towards the end of the winter 2017 market, when they were in the Premier League. Marco Silva was then in charge at the MKM Stadium.

Ranocchia made 16 league appearances for Hull City, scoring two goals and registering two assists in the process. However, he and his teammates weren’t able to stop the club from getting relegated from the Premier League during the 2016/17 season.

The former centre-back was reduced to a substitute role under Roberto Mancini’s time at Inter. When asked why he accepted this, he opened up about his loan spell at Hull City.

“The six months in England opened my eyes a bit, they made me understand that there is also another way of living and understanding football. That was a wonderful experience,” Ranocchia said.

“When I returned from Hull City, I didn’t know whether I would have stayed or not, Spalletti had just arrived. After a while Luciano said to me: ‘Look, I’m happy if you stay, give me a hand’. A good personal relationship was immediately created: I still feel it two-three times a month, we write [to each other].

“The human relationship is very important to me, more than the professional one. Because then I always thought that once I stopped, those relationships would remain.

“And today it is like this, it means that you have shown something good, but not by playing because everyone is good at playing in Serie A, I mean on a human level. Football is a difficult environment and, in my career, I have always favoured personal relationships.”