Former Inter Defender Colonnese: “Recoba Could’ve Been Better Than Ronaldo But Didn’t Have A Top Player’s Mentality”

Former Inter Defender Colonnese: “Recoba Could’ve Been Better Than Ronaldo But Didn’t Have A Top Player’s Mentality”
April 15, 2020 12:00
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In an interview with, former Inter defender Francesco ‘Ciccio’ Colonnese, has spoken on a range of Inter related topics, firstly on how he is keeping physically and playing for Inter legends team Inter Forever.

“I’m still in shape luckily. 14 years have passed since I retired but on a physical level I have always been serious. I found many in the team, practically all, are still fit too.

“We have only lost against Real Madrid legends due to bad refereeing. There is the desire to always do well for the team you love.”

He then spoke on the manager who he felt closest to during his playing career.

“Gigi Simoni. Another is Mircea Lucescu, someone who I feel has been underestimated because he had very modern ideas. He played three at the back and wanted the defenders to play football.”

“Would Inter have won more if Simoni stayed? Yes, I agree with this, regardless of how good Lucescu is. We all played for Simoni and respected him. Sacking him was a mistake that Moratti recognised later on and this made me happy. I have great affection for him, he gave everything for Inter.

Next Colonnese spoke on whether he would have liked to have played under current Inter manager Antonio Conte.

“I was kind of managed by Conte when I was at Siena, he was the assistant manager then. It was evident back then that he had the fabric to do well, even if he had little chance to prove his worth. He would have improved me.”

He was then asked who the best player he came up against was.

“Il Fenomeno Ronaldo in training but during those years I also had to mark people like Totti, Signori, Savicevic, Weah, Inzaghi, Vieri and many others. Serie A was different back then, there was more quality.”

Colonnese then shared the memories he has of playing alongside Youri Djorkaeff.

“He was an extraordinary player, he could do everything. He was humble and simple and his career speaks for itself.”

Next he was asked what he makes of the speculation regarding a possible swap deal between Barcelona and Inter involving Lautaro Martinez and Antoine Griezmann.

“Lautaro is a monster, I have always said that he is a super player and therefore I hope he will not leave but if it happened, I would sign Griezmann and have him up top alongside Lukaku. The Frenchman is struggling at Barcelona and I would take advantage of that.”

Colonnese was then asked what he thinks of Inter central defender Alessandro Bastoni and Milan Skriniar.

“Bastoni is strong, he has not surprised me. I was already following him 4-5 years ago when he played at Atalanta and in training I had seen that he was good. The only thing that needs improvement is his marking in the box, because he can do everything else.

“Skriniar? He has been penalised by having to play in a back three as he is very strong in a four man defence. On the right hand side of the back three I prefer D’Ambrosio, he is the strongest in that role because he can do everything.”

He then went on to reveal he still gets excited when he goes to San Siro and is missing football whilst it is on hold due to the Coronavirus crisis.

“San Siro excites me a lot, perhaps too much. My hands sweat as my son points out to me. I often go along, I cannot help myself from cheering.

“Do I miss football? Of course, like everyone is. I hope this situation will end soon and that everything will return to normal.”

Colonnese then discussed former Inter teammate Ivan Zamorano.

“He knew how to do everything and had a huge heart. He was an exceptional teammate both on and off of the pitch. Being able to see him with Ronaldo and Djorakeff was a spectacle.”

He penultimately spoke on another former teammate in Alvaro Recoba.

“He was great and could have been better than Ronaldo. He was an amazing talent and he was faster than Ronie but he did not have a top player’s mentality.”

He concluded the interview by speaking on former Inter striker Nwankwo Kanu.

“He was strong, you couldn’t take the ball away from him. He was unfortunate when he was at Inter as he had to face fierce competition in attack.”


By Cammy Anderson


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