Inter Vice-President Javier Zanetti feels that he sees a lot of himself as a player in current Nerazzurri defender Milan Skriniar.

Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Il Giorno in an interview published in today’s print edition, the current executive and former Nerazzurri captain spoke about the Slovakian’s character.

Zanetti, whose work at Inter continues on in his role as Vice-President, had established himself as one of the club’s all-time greats not just for his ability on the pitch but also for the dedication and workrate that he always exhibited.

Since joining Inter from Sampdoria in the summer of 2017, Skriniar has shown similar qualities.

The 27-year-old is now a key figure on the pitch, not only because of his technical and athletic skills, but also for more intangible reasons that allow him to put in a consistent standard of performances.

“I often talk with the guys, and Skriniar brings something special in terms of his work ethic,” Zanetti said of the Slovakian.

“I was like that in the past,” he continued, “talking little, but showing a lot.”

“I hope he can stay with us for a long time,” the Vice-President said of Skriniar.

He noted that “When I arrived in Milan, Inter was perfect for me, and I spent the rest of my career here.”

“Many of my teammates at the time decided to move to other clubs,” Zanetti noted, “over time they confessed to me that it was a big mistake to leave Inter. ”

Of the scenes at the San Siro on Saturday evening when fans were forced to leave the north stand by Curva Nord ultras, Zanetti said that “I hope it never happens again.”

“This season we’ve sold out a lot of matches, a record in the history of the club.”

He noted that “Fans need to be back in the stadium, and I don’t think that people have been put off by what happened.”

“But the values ​​of sport have to be respected,” he continued.

Asked if he feels that there is too much power with the Curva Nord, Zanetti replied that “I don’t want to divide the fans, I’m talking about everyone, I don’t like seeing things like what happened the other evening.”

Of the prospect of the San Siro being demolished to make way for a new stadium in Milan, the Inter Vice-President said that “There’s a romantic vision, but now is the time for great innovation.”

“We need to improve the stadium to offer fans a state-of-the-art experience that goes beyond just the match.”

Of this Sunday’s Serie A match against Juventus, Zanetti said that “The rivalry is always there, I don’t see a favourite despite the table.”

“This match comes at the right time for us,” he continued, “we can’t afford any missteps.”

“We’ve gone through difficult moments, but Simone Inzaghi has gotten us on the right track,” Zanetti continued, “showing that he knows how to manage the pressure.”

“If things go wrong it’s everyone’s problem, the guys have reacted well.”

Zanetti also spoke about the fitness of striker Romelu Lukaku, stating that “It’s normal to have so many injuries because there’s so much pressure to play constantly, you’re playing Sunday and then immediately again on Wednesday.”

“I was able to recover, but some players struggle with it, physically and mentally.”

“After the World Cup it will be like a new season,” Zanetti added.