Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni feels that wingback Ivan Perisic has a profound influence on the team in all ways, and inspires them with his intensity and professionalism.

Speaking to Italian broadcaster DAZN after the Nerazzurri’s 3-1 win over Cagliari in Serie A today, the 23-year-old explained how his teammate pushes the team on.

Perisic has been one of the outstanding players not just for Inter but also in all of Serie A, looking to be right at the peak of his powers at the age of 33.

The Croat is one of the senior figures in the Nerazzurri’s squad, and he has given a boost to many of the younger players in the team, putting his experience and workrate to good use.

Bastoni spoke about following in Perisic’s example, stating that “Even in training he’s always great, at dinner I asked him what he ate because I would have eaten the same thing too.”

“But it was bread, turkey and avocado,” he added, “nothing special. Ivan is a great professional to take example from, he played 120 minutes in the Italian Cup and today he was even better than Wednesday.”

Bastoni didn’t hide the fact that the team were aware of AC Milan’s victory over Atalanta earlier in the day, a potential blow to Inter’s Scudetto hopes.

“It was inevitable that we would be aware of what was happening at San Siro,” he admitted. “But we had to win and we did, now we’re looking forward to Sunday.”

Asked if he aimed to cement a place in the Italian national team, Bastoni replied that “Yes, it’s definitely my goal.”

“I played a European championship behind Bonucci and Chiellini,” he went on, “who have given me so much including on a personal level. I feel ready to play for many years with the national team and begin a winning cycle.”