Maicon was interviewed exclusively by Gazzetta dello Sport, talking about Inter’s defence, in which he is an expert, having played right-back for the club for many years and being a part of the historic treble winning side.
“The Nerazzurri defence and the system worked very well, otherwise you cannot stop a team like Napoli in both fixtures, Skriniar is particularly strong,” The Brazilian started out.
You were once coached by Spalletti while in the capital, what memories do you have?
“Even if we only worked together for a short time, I look back with great fondness, he is a very good coach, trains as hard as a hammer and the Inter players are accustomed to it. Even after a good 0-0 with Napoli, they will continue working. And they will work…(laughs).”
The season started well but then their system started to fail. How can they fix it?
“Staying united, talking, maybe not away from the pitch but when you play, you have to fight in a compact way for the aims of the club.”
Is it with this spirit that Inter will reach the Champions League?
“Stay calm, we have to take it game by game, without thinking about the final goal. One step at a time. Serie A is very difficult, even when you play the smaller teams.”
Among the other coaches you had, two more than any other had the biggest impact on you: Mancini and Mourinho…
“Mancini rebuilt Inter, technically and mentally, he completely redone everything, even on a business level. Mou gave the finishing touch, put the icing on the cake. He was the best I’ve ever worked with”.
What did he say to you?
“He spoke to me twice and it was enough (he begins to smile while delivering his response). When he arrived, he gave everyone a handbook, on what to do and what not to do. Let’s just say, you didn’t want to disobey…”
What kind of player do you need to be to be coached by him?
“You have to have a strong mentality, otherwise you could not play with or for him, he told us what to do and everything would go well in the game, so you thought, he’s a genius.”
You are one of the heroes of the triplete: what was Inter like then?
“It was a perfect world. It was enough to look each other in the eyes. With too much debating we would not go anywhere, we needed facts.”
Inter is 110 years old: how would you describe the club to a child?
“I would say that it is a special family. President Moratti is unique, unreachable, I would tell the kids to cheer for Inter.”