Former Inter striker Ruben Sosa believes that coach Antonio Conte has developed an understanding of what it means to represent the Nerazzurri this season.
The former Juventus coach has led Inter to an 11-point lead at the top of Serie A this season, leaving them just a maximum of 13 points away from winning a first Scudetto since 2010.
In an interview with FCInter1908, Uruguayan striker Sosa spoke of his happiness at seeing a change of leadership at the top of Serie A, whilst also praising Conte for his willingness to commit to the Nerazzurri’s wider identity.
“I’ve seen all the matches and don’t miss any unless I’m training at my football school,” Sosa claimed.
“I like the new club logo and it is good for everyone that there is a new queen in Serie A. Italian football has always been balanced, but the last nine years (of Juventus dominance) has not helped it’s perception to the rest of the world.
“The coach understood what Inter really is and got into the players’ minds. He struggled in the first year because of external factors, but has found almost the perfect balance in recent months. Beyond what some might think, he plays very good football.
“It is physical and aggressive but that does not make it less beautiful. At this level, staying on top requires a lot of physical effort and Conte was able to make them run and attack, then go again.”
Sosa, who represented Inter from 1992 to 1995, reflected on his memories of facing Conte as a player during the coach’s stint as a Juventus midfielder.
“In the 1992-93 season, 21 March, Juve 0-2 Inter, goals from Ruben Sosa and [Igor] Shalimov. If you review my goal, before shooting with my left I feinted, and Conte fell for it. I wonder if he still remembers that, but he was a great midfielder. A symbol of Juventus.
“He understands that the environment in Milan is different, he has shown intelligence and professionalism to adapt to joining a rival. I don’t know if he still supports Juventus at heart, but he managed to beat them and that’s what counts.”
Sosa turned his attention to Inter’s current strikers, with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez catching the eye, and the former Lazio forward admitted he was impressed.
“Lukaku is a complete centre-forward, he doesn’t lose the ball. Lautaro knows how to exploit his partner’s physicality. They are made to play together and they offer more united than they do separated.
“A South American [Argentine Lautaro] always takes longer to adapt to European football. If Martinez has become great this year, next year he will become even better. He will definitely explode because he has everything to do so.
“When I read about his desire to go to Barcelona, I thought to myself: ‘Where are you going? Look at how good a place you are now’. Inter are not worth less, they are one of the best teams in Europe and with that shirt on, others will always respect them.”
Sosa also felt that compatriot and Inter midfielder Matias Vecino could show his use to the Nerazzurri after an injury-hit campaign.
“The team is now structured, but Vecino is a complete midfielder who also provides useful goals. After an injury like his, unfortunately you struggle to come back three times, but one thing is for sure. He is an Inter player and one of ours,” the 54-year-old concluded.