Portugal boss Fernando Santos admitted he doesn’t know what’s changed with Joao Mario to convince Inter to start playing him more.
Mario was keen to leave the Nerazzurri in the summer and angered supporters with an interview given to Gazzetta dello Sport during the summer, in which he claimed he lacked the motivation to continue playing for the club.
However Inter ultimately kept hold of the midfielder and now Luciano Spalletti is beginning to use him more, naming the 25 year-old in the starting XI for consecutive matches against Lazio and Genoa – against whom Mario scored – before the international break.
“I don’t know what’s changed of late,” Santos told reporters.
“Only those at the club would be able to answer that question.
“Joao is a very important player for us – he hasn’t played much either this season or last season but he’s a European champion and his qualities have never been in doubt.”