Nicolo Barella admits he has never found it difficult to play for his country.
The Inter midfielder has made 18 appearances in all competitions for the Italian national team during his career so far and is part of a very strong midfield department under Roberto Mancini.
Barella played the full 90 minutes last night for the Nerazzurri as Antonio Conte’s side lost 2-1 to Juventus in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final at San Siro.
“I have always said that it’s easy to play in the national team because there are so many great players,” Barella told broadcaster DAZN in an interview released today.
“In midfield you have the likes of Jorginho, Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stefano Sensi and Andrea Locatelli.
“They are all great players, so it’s easy.
“On the pitch the coach leaves us free to express ourselves and everyone gives their contribution in what we can do best.”
Barella then went on to talk about another international teammate of his, Nicolo Zaniolo, a player who he believes is yet to show off the best version of himself.
“The ACL injury he sustained while on international duty earlier this season is a memory that I would like to remove from my mind,” the 23-year-old revealed.
“It was a difficult moment because he had already come back from one serious injury.
“Being there was even worse than learning about it from a mobile phone.
“Zaniolo is a player who has not yet managed to express himself at his best.
“He is even stronger than what he has shown, but time is on his side and I am sure he will have the strength to take back what he has lost.”
Barella, who has been one of Inter’s star performers this season, then went on to discuss the objectives he has while playing for the Azzurri, whose last major honour came in 2006 when they won the FIFA World Cup in Germany.
“You always play to win and the goal, with humility and professionalism, is to reach the final of the European Championship and the other competitions we will play in,” Barella concluded.
This season Barella, who is contracted to Inter until 2024, has made 29 appearances in all competitions to date, in which he has scored two goals and provided 10 assists.