Julio Cesar: "Ramires, Lopez and Rafinha are relentless, reliable and pure quality. Inter, sign all three!"
INTER GET THREE!
The Brazilian speaks about the Argentinian defender who will be in Milan tomorrow, and also the other two possible reinforcements for Inter.
“Lisandro Lopez is tough and reliable. Ramires also played with me: he just never stops running. Rafinha? Pure technique.”
JULIO CESAR: “RAMIRES, LEADER. LISANDRO, VERY TOUGH. RAFINHA, WORTHY OF INTER”
The goalkeeper of the treble winning team knows the three reinforcements well. “They will bring experience, toughness and pure quality.”
“Did they get them?” Julio Cesar just cannot hide the Inter-ism in him. It emerges from time to time “and it is a beautiful disease.” He calls it that. More than five years have passed between England, Canada and Portugal but he still feels the period of seven years spent at Pinetina inside. And you can feel it in his question: “did they get them?” Lisandro Lopez, Ramires and Rafinha: these are the possible reinforcement for the winter transfer market of Inter. It is the nostalgia of the time he was Inter player, diving on the grass. A month and a half ago Julio Cesar left Benfica but for the moment, he is not playing football. He has given himself some time: if nobody else asks him for his service then he will say goodbye to football. Meanwhile, he reads, listens and keeps himself informed. His work in the world of football will stay his, regardless: this is what we already know.
Anyway, the players that could be on their way to Inter are a recent teammate of Julio Cesar in Lisandro Lopez and two Brazilians that he knows well. Especially, Ramires. He transferred to Lisbon just as Julio Cesar started to feel the treble. He too also won the 2009 Confederations Cup with the Selecao but stumbled in the quarterfinals in the World Cup 2010 and semifinals in 2014. “Ramires is a little bit of my opposite. He is a shy guy, very introverted, who loves to speak very little. But in the end, I understood his strength: lots of substance, little words. And in football, that often goes a long way.”
Let’s talk about Ramires as a player.
“He is an animal, in a good way. It’s been awhile since the last time I saw him play but I remember that as a midfielder, you can find him everywhere because he never gets tired, he is relentless. In our national team, he was the one that ran the most, 11-12 kilometers per game. Maybe know, the running is a bit less but his experience now makes him do it more efficiently. Even better.”
Experience sells. Even in this case.
“Ramires was ‘born’ in Cruzeiro and that is not just any club in Brazil. Then he also played at Benfica and Chelsea, as well as many matches with the Brazilian national team. A career like this gives you charisma, makes you a leader. And leaders do not need to talk much. If you need them to give you 100%, they will give you 110%, that’s how they talk.”
Did he go to China a bit too early?
“Maybe yes, but in retrospect, who are we to judge such choices from the outside? He decided to do so and nobody knew what was going on in the head, or life, of Ramires. But if he is back in Europe now, it is certainly because he still has something to give: something that can help Inter.”
In what role?
“This Spalletti will know. I know that Ramires has always impressed me for one thing: he uses his lungs with the same ease in the defensive as well as offensive phase. So he can do well in front of the defense or in a more advance position further up.”
At least we know where Lisandro Lopez will be playing.
“He is the opposite of Ramires. Aside the position on the field, you can ‘feel’ him in one more place: the dressing room. He is a man of the dressing room: very good guy, he likes to laugh and knows how to get along with everyone.”
Are you two good friends because of this?
“He and I joked a lot. When I got to training, I pretended to not say hello and he pretended to be pissed off. He said: ‘Look! I know that I am not Zanetti, Cambiasso or Milito: but I am a part of the dressing room and you have to say hello!’ He will now enter that one at Inter training ground and I am sure he will fit in very quickly. I will call him soon to wish him good luck.”
There are a lot of photos of you two hugging each other.
“It was like our ritual: after every Benfica goal, he came to meet me and we hugged each other.”
Difficult to happen after one of his goals.
“He scored few but more than once, his goals were important. I remember one for the win at Porto. But his job is not that, it is being a tough, solid and reliable defender. I hope that he and Miranda can redo what Samuel and Lucio did.”
But he will have to deal with Skriniar.
“Who is very good but is young. Skriniar will learn a thing or two from Lisandro, useful things.”
Why is he playing so little at Benfica?
“Football is like that: every coach has his own choices. But even if that he is playing very little, they all know that Lisandro is still here, they can feel him, his presence. I think that he is aware that he can play at high level again by accepting another challenge.”
And what kind of challenge for Rafinha?
“We never played together in a team but I do know him. But I imagine that one with his talent can take on any challenges.”
Let’s talk about his talent.
“It is not needed for me to describe him but he has Brazilian feet, pure technique. I do not know where he will play but it is wherever Spalletti decides to put him.”
What do Inter need?
“Inter are doing well but we must not forget that this is a new team with a new coach who is very good. Inter must consider themselves lucky to have him on the bench. I remember him at Roma very well, the one that was in Serie A, Italian Cup, Super Italian Cup. Always tough playing against him. Inter must think about the Champions League and I support this goal. For the Scudetto, there is time because playing in the Champions League will push you towards everything.”
The last time that you dove for the ball was the end of November when you ended your contract with Benfica.
“I am giving myself until January. There is someone that wants to talk, I will be waiting. I would not leave football like that, with a goodbye to Benfica. But if there is not an offer that interests me this window, I will leave football definitively. Everything has its time. And there is always time to dream a bit more.”
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