Inter star Icardi "the strongest" Spalletti has coached

Mauro Icardi's performance in Inter's 4-0 thumping of Udinese has drawn praise from Nerazzurri boss Luciano Spalletti.

Inter star Icardi 'the strongest' Spalletti has trained

Luciano Spalletti hailed Mauro Icardi as the best player he has ever coached following Inter's 4-0 demolition of Udinese.

Icardi reaches 99 goals in Serie A in big win

Icardi netted his 99th Serie A goal for the Nerazzurri in first-half stoppage time, following up efforts from Andrea Ranocchia and Rafinha to make it 3-0 at the interval.

Borja Valero added another after Seko Fofana's second-half red card, and although Icardi did not bring up his century, Spalletti praised the Argentine's work rate and clinical prowess.

Spalletti lauds "exceptional finisher" Icardi

"Icardi, he's a top player, an exceptional finisher," Spalletti said.

"He's got quality for the goal, he knows where the ball goes, he does not need to chase it, he's the strongest I've ever trained.

"He works outside the penalty area, but in the last few metres in front of goal, he is deadly."

Inter's victory moved them, temporarily at least, to within a point of the Champions League places, with the race for qualification set to go down to the wire.

Inter boss full of praise for team's performance

And Spalletti insists his side are showing signs of ironing out the inconsistencies that saw them drop out of the title race following a strong start to the season.

"I saw what I expected after the match against Juventus [a 3-2 loss last week], the team did well, they trained well during the week and they took control of the match," he added.

"We must congratulate the boys, they were exceptional. My job is to finish the season well. The team has grown a lot in the last period and we have to continue to prove it.

"These performances are important for the future of Inter, to put the same stamp on all the matches. We are a great team and we cannot afford to drop intensity and quality."