As part of a long interview with the official website of new club Reading, former Inter striker George Puscas reflected on his time at the Nerazzurri.
“The first trial that I did was with Arsenal, but Inter came after that with a contract straight away without a trial, they put the contract in front of me so I thought I would choose straight away, because I could not afford to wait,” he explained.
“Arsenal had seen me for the first time with the national team at Under-15 or Under-16, they followed me so much – they watched me for two years before that trial. They came and watched when I played with the team from my city, I scored in that game and after that, they gave me the trial.
“With the conditions and pitches, it was so different after coming from Romania. I wanted to come to England but it was a little bit too much stress with family, and in the UK, there are other rules surrounding family, but at least I went to Inter.
“Inter are one of the biggest clubs in the world, so there is not a lot of difference between Inter and Arsenal, I went there. and it was a good opportunity for me.
“Moving to Italy was not like moving to another town in Romania, but it was moving to another country when I was 17 years old. It was harder than moving the first time because I didn’t speak Italian, but in around 3-4 months I was understanding everything – the Italian language is like Romanian, but it was a little bit difficult at the start. Some foreign players spoke English and they were helping me a bit.
“Milan is a big city, there are many things to do there, but I was young, so I was focused on my football, on training and staying in the academy. I had no car, for me I only went to the training ground and to play games.”
He then recalled some of the players he was rubbing shoulders with at the club when he first joined.
“When I went to the first team for the first time, there were too many good players to remember – but the first name I remembered was Javier Zanetti. He was such a respectful person with all the people, young or old. He was the first player that came to my mind, along with Rodrigo Palacio, Esteban Cambiasso and other old Inter players of that generation.
“After that I played with younger players like Fredy Guarin and Mateo Kovacic. Zanetti was so cool, he would help the young players so much – when you go to the first team and someone gives you advice like this, it’s important.”