Ex-Inter Midfielder Zè Elias: “It’s Great To See The Nerazzurri At The Top”

Ex-Inter Midfielder Zè Elias: “It’s Great To See The Nerazzurri At The Top”
December 7, 2019 15:40
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Former Inter midfielder Zè Elias discussed the Nerazzurri’s season so far and if they could win the league title this season in an interview with Italian media outlet PassioneInter.com today.

“I think Inter are very positive. They’re fighting point by point with Juventus, a team that have won a lot of league titles in a row and already have a winning mentality. Conte is trying to include this mentality and game for the team, who must grow. But it’s a great satisfaction to see Inter there, fighting, since it hasn’t happened in a long time, I’m happy about it.”

The 43-year-old Brazilian then spoke highly of Inter coach Antonio Conte.

“He’s a very good coach, with a winning mentality and with the right determination to be in a great team. I’ve had coaches like him, but here in Brazil. In Italy I had coaches like Simoni who were much calmer! Conte is really very good.”

Elias then touched on what this Inter team needs to win.

“First of all, they have to play well. If there’s a mentality, but there’s no game, then they don’t do any good. Then you need to be a real united ‘team’, with the right numbers and also individual skills, because at certain times you also need to play individual games. It seems to me that Conte is trying to bring this and there are good players. Like Lautaro Martinez whom I consider to be the main star of the team.”

The Brazilian spoke about the importance of discipline in a dressing room.

“It matters a lot. In the cases like Icardi and Nainggolan, respect for your team-mates is also important. The locker room is sacred, what happens inside must remain there. If there’s no respect, order and discipline, you can’t go on. It’s better to have 11 players who fit together than to have 1 special one, but with 10 teammates who don’t want to run for him. You don’t need to have a great player if you don’t have a healthy locker room.”

He discussed Inter owned striker Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa, and his incredible season with Flamengo.

“He’s doing great. You have to consider that the level of defences and tactics here in Brazil is not very high. He has found his right role with his last coaches Cuca at Santos and Jorge Jesus at Flamengo. He’s not a main striker, but a half striker that loves to vary and that must score the goals. He looks a bit like Icardi in that he waits for the action to get near the end, but with more ability to create.”

Elias thought Inter would do well to sell him.

“I think you’re quite particular about this situation. Of course, he’s young, but I don’t know if he could do the same things in Europe as he’s doing here in Brazil. If he went to Spain, he would find it easier to repeat himself again, but in other countries like Italy, England or Germany, I have more than one doubt that he could do the same thing again. On the price, well, it’s Inter that decides it and they’ll certainly take into account how much they paid for him.”

The Brazilian spoke incredibly highly of Inter striker Lautaro Martinez.

“For me, he’s one of the best strikers in the world. He still has a lot of room for growth, but he has obvious qualities. He has a fantastic technique, he always has the ball attached to his foot. Then he can defend the ball with that determination that a great forward must have. He is very similar to Luis Suarez. That’s why Barcelona looks so closely at him, he looks very much like the Uruguayan, who is now already at an older age and Lautaro could be his ideal replacement.”

He touched on how it felt to play with legends at Inter such as Roberto Baggio, Ronaldo and Alvaro Recoba.

“At just twenty years old… it was a unique, magnificent, fantastic experience. In Italy there were the best players in the world, something I could never forget. Ronaldo was the strongest in the world, Djorkaeff had just won the World Cup, Moriero who is a fantastic person, Bergomi with his history, Javier Zanetti, Zamorano… Unforgettable.”

Finally, Elias gave an anecdote about his time at Inter.

“There are good memories. For example, after the games Moratti came to visit us. Every time Moriero screamed so much to put a ‘party’ atmosphere in the locker room and welcome as he should, with joy, the President. And then the memory of Gigi Simoni, a true gentleman”.

By Apollo Heyes
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