Eight goals scored already this season. Rodrigo Palacio has never experienced a better start to a season in his entire career. The Argentine attacker talks about this, among many other things, in an interview with Massimiliano Nebuloni for Sky Sport 24: “It’s true, I think the whole team deserves credit for my goals. My team-mates, who provide me with chances, and Mazzarri’s way of playing football, which obviously is good for me”.
“Mazzarri always tells me that I have to provide depth for the team” – he continues – “that I, as the only striker, have to move a lot so that my team-mates can find me close to the goal. Nothing has changed compared to earlier, I always play in the same way”.
Palacio’s best goal of the season “is maybe the first one against Genoa, because I was one-on-one with the goalkeeper”, and his all-time favourite goal at Inter is “the one against Bologna in Coppa Italia last year”.
The absence of Diego Milito is a heavy one, and Palacio feels it aswell: “He is not missed only by me, but by Inter. He is the most important player, a player who makes the difference and if he had been playing, I think we would have had more points than we do now. If I feel alone in attack? No, Guarin and Ricky are often close to the goal and we attack with several players, so I feel just fine”.
About starting this season after a very difficult one the year before: “We have started well. At the pre-season camp at Pinzolo, Mazzarri worked a lot and we did everything he asked of us to be in good shape ahead of us, I think we are doing well in the league. Juventus, Napoli and Roma never lose points and it is hard to keep the same pace as them”.
Inter has lost the lead too many times in the last few games, and Palacio comments on this aswell: “There are things that we have to improve, we talked about it today with the coach and the whole team. Like Alvarez said, do we miss a bit of cleverness, a bit of cynicism, in our way of playing? Every team misses something. This is a young team, we’re still growing, but we need to continue like we’re doing because we are on the right track and we are having a good season”.
The next game is against Udinese, is it as important as a final for Inter? “Yes, we need to go to Udine and win, we know that it will be a difficult game, their strikers are very good and we need to pay attention for 90 minutes in order to return to Milan with a win”:
If it is still realistic to aim for the Champions League? Palacio explains: “We need to focus at one game at a time, now we have do well against Udinese and then we’ll see. Mazzarri gets angry with the referees a lot? I get angry with the referees aswell (smiles), but they have a difficult job, one or two seconds to decide and blow the whistle. Do they make too many mistakes against us? I prefer not to talk about the referees, we need to work to improve what we’re doing”.
Palacio also speaks of who has impressed him the most this season: “I like Gervinho a lot, he really makes a difference. To be honest I didn’t expect Roma to play this well”. He also mentions his competitors in attack in the national team: “Do I fear the competition from Tevez in the Argentina squad? No, not ahead of the World Cup. He could go there and so could I. He is a great player, but I don’t see him as a direct competitor for a place at the World Cup. For us Argentinians, a World Cup in Brazil is like a dream, it’s nice to play it there. Could this be Lionel Messi’s World Cup? Yes, he would deserve it. Who wins the Balon d’Or? Messi again”.
To finish, some important words regarding his future at Inter: “There is still a year and a half until my contract expires, surely we will discuss it soon and see if we can prolong it a little. Finish my career with Inter? Yes, I would like that, I like it a lot here”.