Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella sees 2010 Treble winner Dejan Stankovic as his “idol” at the Nerazzurri.

The 27-year-old spoke in the official matchday programme for this evening’s Serie A clash with Atalanta.

In recent years, Barella has been a player right at the heart of Inter’s midfield.

The former Cagliari midfielder is a player who provides both technical quality and physicality.

Barella has played a number of roles, but works best in an all-action, box-to-box position in Inter’s midfield trio. He has functioned there under both Antonio Conte and Simone Inzaghi.

In many ways, Barella’s style of play echoes that of Serbian former Lazio and Inter midfielder Stankovic.

Stankovic had also brought immense workrate and stamina to the midfield battle. But at the same time, the Serb also had skilfulness and tactical intelligence at a very high level.

Stankovic accomplished just about all that there was to accomplish at Inter.

The former midfielder capped off a trophy-laden decade at Inter by being a key player as the Nerazzurri won the European Treble in the 2009-10 season.

Barella is not quite there yet. But he knows the model that he’s trying to emulate.

Nicolo Barella Names Dejan Stankovic As Nerazzurri Idol

Asked who he considers to be his “idol” at Inter, Barella didn’t hesitate. The Italian international named “Dejan Stankovic.”

And Barella also gave his thoughts on his style of play.

“Winning the ball back is like scoring a goal for me,” the 27-year-old said. “It’s always motivated me.”

“It’s a bit like playing in a good ball and seeing my teammate get through on goal.”

Barella went on that “Experience and playing in the biggest matches has helped me grow, and experience big moments with more calmness than in the past.”

He said that “For me the team is the most important thing.”

“It’s what pushes all of us to give our best. Like wanting to give back to the fans for their love, or make my family proud.”