Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni believes that his time spent under previous Nerazzurri head coach Antonio Conte was essential to his development.
Answering questions on the Gli Autogol Twitch channel, as reported by FCInterNews, the 22-year-old credited the former coach with trusting him at a young age and with improving him as a player, and stated that Nicolo Barella is the most impressive teammate he has had thanks to his versatility.
Bastoni returned to Inter from a season on loan with Parma during the summer of 2019, and he was given a regular role in the starting eleven in his first full season there despite only being twenty years old.
The following season was last campaign’s Scudetto win, in which the Italian international played a significant role and established himself as a key part of the backline going forward.
Now Bastoni is once again a player who starts regularly, not just for the Nerazzurri but also for the Italian national team, and he credits Antonio Conte’s faith in him for getting to this point.
On his longstanding ambition to become a footballer he stated, “I’ve always wanted to do it, at home I grew up on bread and football. It was my goal and that of my family.”
“The goal has always been that,” he went on, “but there have been some difficult moments where I had to think about a Plan B. I like sports so much, I would have gone into physical education and who knows where they would have led me. For now, that’s okay.”
On players who have inspired him, Bastoni stated, “In addition to, among others, Materazzi and Samuel, someone I take as a role model is Sergio Ramos. I was lucky enough to talk to him after a match against Real, then he sent me his shirt on my birthday. I like how he plays, his attitude on and off the pitch – I try to follow him in everything he does.”
On his debut for Atalanta alongside current Genoa midfielder Filippo Melegoni, he explained that “We made our debut together, something unexpected to say the least. We were 17, against Sampdoria, without warning – it was incredible.”
Of his best memory of the Euros with Italy he said, “Without a shadow of a doubt, Gigio’s last save in the semifinals. We spent fifty days in the bubble, it was the culmination of a beautiful and painful period. The tension dropped then, the joy has not yet passed after three months.”
“Mancini and the staff have been fantastic in keeping the environment relaxed,” he went on, “there has never been a fight between us. There has always been a great understanding, in addition to the technical qualities.”
About a famous image of his mother wiping his mouth during Scudetto celebrations he stated, “Mom still apologizes for this image. The party was long over, that’s not what the cameras were doing at the stadium.”
Of the credit Conte deserves for his development as a player Bastoni stated, “So much, I thank him because he immediately trusted me. I arrived from a good season in Parma, then I did well to repay his trust. Without his teaching, I would not be here now.”
About his assist to Nicolo Barella for the second goal in a 2-0 win over Juventus last season he stated, “It is a move that we have tried with the coach, we also do it with Inzaghi now. I have tried it other times, but if it goes wrong no one notices it.”
On his arrival in the locker room at Inter he stated, “I was lucky enough to be in positive locker rooms, even at Atalanta. Ranocchia welcomed me immediately, he has to make sure we are humble and helpful players.”
Asked who out of Barella, Milan Skriniar, and Marcelo Brozovic he would go for dinner with, share a room with, and ask to take a penalty, he was joking in his response.
“Dinner for all three,” he stated. “I get along well with everyone. Actually, I don’t take Barella because he’ll order a bottle of wine for €1800 euros. I make Barella sleep with me in the room. Brozo is challenging to go to dinner with, more than anything taking him home: so I offer it to Skriniar for all the defensive efforts he’s made.”
On whether he still hears from stricken midfielder Christian Eriksen Bastoni stated, “I heard from him after the accident because we were all worried The nice thing is to have seen him, the strange thing is that he calmed us down, he told us he had slept for five minutes. He will make the right decision, goodbye comes first.”
Asked who he would give the Ballon D’Or to he stated, “I give it to Jorginho, he won the Champions League and the European Championship as a key player. He deserves it also for the sacrifices he made, he deserves it more than anyone else. And then in the national team he owes us a gift each.”
On whether Simone Inzaghi speaks in a normal voice to his players Bastoni stated, “Yes, he has a calm, rested voice. It is normal for him to lose it after the game.”
On whether he has any superstitious rituals for games, Bastoni explained that “I kiss my shin guards, where I have pictures of my brothers.”
Of whether he and his teammates play FIFA a lot he said, “we mostly play darts.”
Of whether he agrees with the scores given to him in FIFA, Bastoni joked, “My shot is not 33, not even when I wake up. I’s raise the shot to 65, come on!”
On whether it is harder to mark Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cristiano Ronaldo, Bastoni stated that “”It is not a walk in the park against either, we are talking about the top players in their position.”
On his best teammates and opponents Bastoni explained, “For his versatility I say Barella, he does everything. He only lacks the gloves to be a goalkeeper. I really suffered a lot against Higuain from Juve, that’s who gave me the hardest time.”
And for a top Serie A eleven since he’s been in the league, minus Inter players, he named, “I put Donnarumma in goal, without a doubt. In the backline, Spinazzola, Chiellini, Koulibaly and Di Lorenzo. In midfield Zielinski, Locatelli and Pellegrini. And for the forwards, Insigne, Dybala and Ibrahimovic.”