Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella still finds playing against his old side Cagliari to be a conflicted emotional experience.
Speaking to InterTV ahead of the Nerazzurri’s Serie A clash with the Rossoblu this evening, the 24-year-old explained the feeling he gets playing against his boyhood club, while he also emphasized the importance of the match to Inter’s Scudetto charge.
Barella impressed over his time at Cagliari, breaking into the Sardinian club’s first team at an early age and never looking back.
The midfielder’s performances with the Rossoblu earned him the attention of a number of top clubs in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, and in the end it was Inter who convinced him on a big move.
Barella’s form at Inter across the past three seasons has established him as one of the key men in the side, winning the Scudetto and also the Euros with Italy along the way, but he still feels a connection to his former team.
“Playing against Cagliari always gives me a strange feeling,” he explained.
“It’s a very important match for us, and a very important match for them,” he went on. “In the last few games they have begun to pick up points which they couldn’t at the beginning of the season.”
“They’ve found themselves in a good place,” he added. “Since we have to fight for the title, all the points are fundamentally important, you can’t afford to leave them on the table.”
He predicted that “It will be a difficult game but we want to win. We will need the desire to win, the kind of football we have been playing in the last few matches.”
“We will have to be careful,” he also stressed, “they have quality players up front who score a lot of goals. We will have to try to keep them pegged back so as not to allow them to counter.”
The midfielder closed by stating that “I don’t like talking a lot with my opponents even if though are my friends and I have known some of them since we were born.”
“Knowing Cagliari will be an important match for them too and they will want to win it,” he concluded.