Inter midfielder Borja Valero spoke about the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the situation regarding Italian football and how the virus has personally affected his life in an interview with Italian news outlet yesterday.

“In recent weeks the order and level of importance I give to things has changed. And I think that will be the case for many people. I put the people I love first.

“It’s precisely in these moments, when I can’t be as close to them as I would like, that I realize even more how important they are to me. That’s why I’ll try to put them first, even afterwards, when things are back to normal, and it would be easy and instinctive to return to life, and to thoughts and distractions, of before.”

He revealed how having a routine is important for him.

“Not just my wife and children. During the day I try to maintain a routine, I get up early, I have two children who continue to go to school, albeit online, and I help them in their homework. Otherwise, I train as much as I can, strength training and exercise bikes.”

The 35-year-old Spanish midfielder, whose contract expires with the Nerazzurri at the end of the season, then touched on the current situation Italian football is facing.

“The situation is very delicate, we are facing a worldwide health crisis. We players are subject to the risk of contagion like everyone else, we could and should have stopped earlier. It would only make sense to start again when the situation was completely under control.

“The idea that football is so important does not justify the fact that it has to start again without adequate guarantees. We must comply with the indications given by the medical and scientific authorities. Not to do so would be madness.”

Valero spoke about how the Inter squad are still in contact with each other and stand united together.

“We Inter players have our own group chat, but for the moment everything still seems far away and unclear. It is clear, however, that if and when we are told to start again, as a group we will make our voices heard.”

The 35-year-old discussed Inter coach Antonio Conte and his relationship with him.

“His strength is to ask a lot not only of the players but of everyone, up to the warehousemen and the guys in the press office. And what he asks, he offers in return. He spoke to me at the start of the season. He was clear, I’m not relying on you, he told me.”

The Inter midfielder touched on how his professionalism helped him early playing time under the former Chelsea and Juventus boss.

“Then he saw how I train, with my head down and without questioning anything. He called me again and told me I’d have my playing time. That’s how it was. At my age and for what I’ve shown in my career, I don’t have to prove anything to anyone anymore. Nor do I think that at the end of the season my contract will expire. I work and make myself available.”

Valero spoke about the most recent Derby d’Italia, the last game before the stop for the Nerazzurri.

“It was a strange game, played in strange conditions, behind closed doors. What’s more, we weren’t at our best. I don’t think about it too much.”

He touched on teammates Christian Eriksen and Marcelo Brozovic.

“He arrived during the season, one week earlier he was still playing for Tottenham, the next week he had changed league, country, language, training system. It’s not easy to get used to things quickly. When he was getting into it, the stop sign appeared.

“He has everything to give Inter, he just needs time. Marcelo, in three years at Inter, has grown exponentially. Slowly he realized how strong he is and took on a new role for him, that of a regista. He can grow further.”

The Spaniard spoke about another teammate, Lautaro Martinez, who is the top transfer target of Spanish giants Barcelona.

“From one year to the next he has improved the most. As well as scoring, he does an extraordinary job for the team. What would I say to convince him not to go to Barcelona? That we have a very important project here, visible to everyone. And that, to make it happen, it’s better that he’s with us.”

Finally, Valero spoke about Inter talent Sebastiano Esposito, who has broken into the first team under coach Antonio Conte after impressing the Lecce born boss during last summer’s pre-season training camp.

“To grow up, youngsters must play as much as possible. The Inter system is fundamental for him. Having said that, it is right that he should decide his future with his family.”