ONLY INTER FOR ME - Skriniar: "I came to here to win and I will stay. Inter... sign Lobotka, he's ready. Contract? Very close!"
“Everyone knows that I want to stay at Inter, I have a great relationship with the club and its executives. We are talking about the new contract and are very close to an agreement. Signing it in February? We will find the best time to do it.”
Whenever he gets the chance to speak, like today in an exclusive interview with Tuttosport, Milan Skriniar destroys any rumors and doubts about a future without Inter.
This feels like a promise to the fans: you will not leave before you win something with Inter?
“Well, I have not won anything yet in my career and I came to Inter to win. A trophy has been missing for many years, the club wants it, the fans dream about it and if I can win something with this club, I will be even more happy.”
When Spalletti said that you are worth more than €100M or no one has the money to buy you, what were your thoughts?
“I thought that it was a joke. I know that he said that after the game against Barcelona but I did not believe it and to those who asked me, I answered that it was not true but it was something very nice. However, the price is not important, what I do on the pitch is. Do I feel pressure? No. The same goes for those who said that Inter paid so much money to get me here. There are players out there that feel pressure because of certain rumors, talks but not me.”
Can you explain why Inter have been scoring so little?
“We create a lot of scoring chances but unfortunately we cannot convert them. The solution to the problem is simple: we need to pay more attention to details that can change the outcome of an action.”
As you said, it is important for a defender to not allow a goal: this year, you are allowing very little and among the best defenses in Europe.
“This is our goal because if our goal is clean then we can just score one to win the game.”
How do you prepare facing a striker? Do you study him during the week?
“This is my third year in Italy so I know many opponents already. Otherwise, I watch additional videos besides those that Spalletti and the coaching staff prepare for us. Doing so will allow me to understand better the characteristics of those that I will play against.”
What is it like to mark Icardi?
“When I was at Sampdoria, I faced Mauro twice. He is a different striker because maybe you do not see him for 10 minutes and then he touches the ball once and score. Same thing happens in training. For me, it is more complicated to mark a striker like Icardi because of what he can do when concentration decreases. I prefer opponents who keep my busy for the entire game.”
“He is good, very fast with the ball between his feet and when he changes direction. But I think that in Turin, we managed well enough to limit him.”
The defender of today are asked to be more involved in the build-up, your past as a midfielder certainly does help?
“Yes, the mindset of a midfielder stays with me as I have only been a central defender for five-six seasons. I like to build up plays, start the action.”
Who is the best defender in the world?
“I think Sergio Ramos. He is voted as the best every where. He has won many Champions League and scored several goals as well. I also like Van Dijk and have seen a lot of David Luiz and Thiago Silva because I want to get something from each of these champions.”
And Godin: what can he bring to Inter?
“Experience and winning mentality. He is someone who has won many trophies and can give us a big hand and help us become even better.”
How are things with De Vrij?
“Well. There is a good feeling between us. We are also roommates here in Appiano but luckily, we do not always talk about football.”
How is Spalletti as a coach?
“He is very good and has no problems with anyone. Sometimes, he is very direct with us and sometimes there are situations where he prefers to speak longer to explain things better.”
What is the recipe to close the gap with Juventus?
“If you look back at the direct clashes, we lost them but because of certain episodes. In Turin last time, we created two or three chances where we could take the lead then they scored on us due to our carelessness. This is their strength: they allow very few goals and have great players that can win games. We miss this: winning games when we do not play well. Juve win all of them, we do not. We must learn to be more consistent: winning not two or three games in a row but more than that.”
Can Inter arrive to the end in Europa League?
“We have to aim to go as far as possible. It is not the Champions League but getting to the end is important.”
Did the Champions League leave you a bitter memory?
“Unfortunately we went out but our memory is a beautiful one. The first game against Tottenham where we won in the 90th minute. That was exciting. It was also thrilling to hear the anthem prior to kick-off as well…”
It’s transfer market time: a compatriot that you want at Inter?
“To me, it is Lobotka of Celta. He can become a very good player. He reminds me of Torreira, former Sampdoria and now at Arsenal. I know that Inter followed him last year, Ausilio asked me about what he was like and I told him that he was ready to play in Serie A.”