Nerazzurri Legend Beppe Bergomi: “Hakan Calhanoglu Emblematic Of This More Beautiful Inter”

Nerazzurri Legend Beppe Bergomi: “Hakan Calhanoglu Emblematic Of This More Beautiful Inter”
December 30, 2021 00:30
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Legendary former Inter defender Beppe Bergomi feels that midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu has become a symbol for the style of play at the Nerazzurri this season.

Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Il Giornale in an interview published in today’s print edition, the 61-year-old hailed the impact that the Calhanoglu has had on making the team play in a more attractive way.

The Nerazzurri have become a more possession-focused team this season, and they have found success by playing more short passes and looking to carve teams open rather than focusing mostly on counterattacking.

Calhanoglu’s arrival from AC Milan in the summer has played a significant role in this shift in focus, as his skillset is well-suited to a tactical setup in which the team looks for more incisive passes.

The Turkish midfielder took a bit of time to settle in fully, but now he looks to be a key component of the way that the Nerazzurri aim to play.

“At the beginning of the season, I have to be honest and say I didn’t see Inter as favourites,” Bergomi stated.

“Inzaghi is doing a great job,” he went on, “it was a surprise since it was not easy to replace players of the calibre of Eriksen, Lukaku and Hakimi.”

“From an aesthetic point of view I like them more than the year,” the former defender continued. “They bring many players into the attack, attack a lot and play good football.”

He explained that “They’ve been a positive surprise, partly for the beauty of their football. Hakan Calhanoglu is the emblem of how Inter play now – he was always excellent technically, but seeing him tackle more and look to winballs makes you understand the mentality of this Inter.”

“To date, Inter would seem the favourite, but the calendar is unbalanced with Inter having four big head-to-head clashes in their first six matchdays of the new year, so anything can happen,” he added.

“Not to mention matches in the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana,” he went on, “if they are able to get through this period unscathed then they will be big favourites.”

Looking ahead to the Nerazzurri’s Champions League round of sixteen opponents Liverpool, Bergomi stated that “Liverpool are a very strong team, they take a lot of risks and they can quickly cut you apart.”

“You need to play with courage against them,” he continued, “it won’t work to only focus on defending.”

“The Reds are my favourite team in England,” he added. “I follow them and very often they play with a very high defensive line.”

He emphasized that “I think you have to have courage, and Inter have a chance even if Liverpool remain favourites.”

“It would have been better to have faced Ajax,” he stated, “they are a good team but they are not at the same level as Liverpool.”

“Messing up the draw isn’t something that should happen in 2021,” he continued, “I don’t know whose responsibility this was but it certainly wasn’t good to see.”

On the Nerazzurri’s dealing with financial trouble over the summer, Bergomi stated that “They were in trouble, but they did well to navigate the stormy sea, they had a very intelligent transfer window with the resources that they have, and now they are doing well.”

“Now the wages are paid on time, everything seems to be in order and it seems to me there is more calmness than there was last year,” he continued.

“Having said that, if the club is ever sold it will be for the good of Inter,” he added.

On whether he feels Antonio Conte and Romelu Lukaku regret leaving, the former defender stated that “I don’t know, life is made up of choices. I couldn’t tell you if they have any regrets.”

“Conte always improves things right away,” he stated, “you can already see it now at Tottenham.”

He went on that “By adding Lukaku, Chelsea have become even stronger, though this does not mean that they’ll be more successful.”

“He had two great years here in Milan,” he said of the striker, “he earned great acclaim, but then he made other choices. I don’t honestly know if he feels regret or not.”

By Toni Weeler

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