Ex-AC Milan and Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has been speaking highly of Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella after his impressive performances for the national team at Euro 2020, according to a report in the Italian print media.

Speaking during an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, Riccardo Montolivo explained how he was extremely impressed with Nicolo Barella when he first came across him back in 2017 when he still played for Cagliari.

“He played the inaugural match of the championship at San Siro, August 2017 against Milan and in the end he got my sincere congratulations.”

Nicolo Barella was extremely impressive during Inter’s Scudetto winning campaign in 2020/21 under Antonio Conte. It was Antonio Conte who was in charge of Italy when Ricardo Montolivo featured in the Euro 2016 final against Spain. It did not go the Azzurri’s way that year as they lost 4-0.

The Sardinian midfielder has exhibited his ability to play in different midfield roles during the tournament. Against Turkey, his performance was compared to N’Golo Kante as he defended so well.

Against Belgium, he attacked and scored a superb goal.