Monaco winger Keita Balde, who spent the 2018/19 season on loan at Inter, spoke about the ongoing Coronavirus emergency and his career in Italy in an interview in today’s paper edition of the Milano based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Here the impact of the coronavirus is relative, but my father and my brothers are in Barcelona, and there the situation is bad, and my mother in Dakar, is very worried. If the Covid-19 arrives strong in Africa it will be a catastrophe. They say that the heat can be a deterrent against the virus, I hope they are right.”
He appreciated that this period gives him more time to think.
“Yes, and I think planet earth has taken a break. That on a humanitarian level, we went a little overboard. Maybe this situation makes us think from the heart, and we need it to get our heads together and appreciate the really important things.”
Balde agreed that football was one of those important things.
“Yes. Even in our environment it has been exaggerated. Too much money, crazy expenses, especially considering how much you paid even just a few years ago for very strong players. Football also needs to be regulated.”
He spoke about his future.
“Hard to predict. Right now, I hear so many things, and they change every day. It seems to me there’s great confusion. Of course, we’ve been standing still for a month and football seems so far away.”
The 25-year-old Senegalese winger discussed his time in Italy with Lazio and Inter.
“I think well of both of them, especially Lazio. They seemed very strong to me, too bad it all stopped. It’s a club I’ve been with for so many years, it’s in my heart. Inter were the team I supported as a kid. I had a shorter but very intense period, I scored the goal that led to the Champions League.
“Now I’m at the start of a long journey. You can’t think that with Conte’s arrival everything will settle down immediately. It takes time, but the road is the right one.”
Finally, he revealed that he doesn’t have nostalgia for Italy.
“No, I’m fine here. Good city on a human scale, good club, respected team, former Barca coach. I have two more years on my contract and I don’t think about the future. I said it before, it’s even more true now.”
Balde has made 26 appearances across all competitions so far this season, for a total of 1266 minutes. In that time, he has scored eight goals and provided four assists.
During the 2018/19 season for Inter, the 25-year-old made 29 appearances across all competitions, for a total of 1045 minutes. In that time, he scored five goals and provided two assists, struggling to maintain consistency.