Former Inter Milan defender Antonio Paganin feels that midfielder Nicolo Barella is the “soul” of the current Nerazzurri side.

Paganin praised the 27-year-old’s season speaking to TMW Radio, via FCInterNews. He also lauded the “great work” of the club as a whole to clinch the Serie A title.

Barella is now coming to the end of his fifth season as an Inter player.

The Italian international came to the Nerazzurri from Cagliari in the summer of 2019.

Barella has been a key part of Inter’s starting eleven ever since he arrived at the club.

That was the case when Inter won the Serie A title in the 2020-21 season.

But this campaign, Barella’s importance to Inter has if anything been greater than ever.

The 27-year-old has become a real leader in the team. The fact that he is Inter’s vice-captain behind Lautaro Martinez certainly reflects that.

Barella is often Inter’s heartbeat, both in and out of possession. The Italian midfielder covers an enormous amount of ground, and also provides plenty of technical quality both in terms of close control in tight spaces and an eye for a pass.

Antonio Paganin: Nicolo Barella the “Soul” Of Inter

Paganin gave his thoughts on Inter’s Serie A title triumph.

“It’s finally here!” the former defender said.

“And it’s more than deserved.”

Paganin then gave his thoughts on which players have been key to the title victory. “Federico Dimarco,” he named. “Because of what he’s given the team, not just on the wing but also with goals and assists.”

“He’s absolutely exploded,” he said of DImarco’s form.

“Then there’s Hakan Calhanoglu,” Paganin continued. “He’s the brain and the soul of this team.”

“Next up, Marcus Thuram has been a very pleasant surprise.”

“He slowly inherited the starting spot alongside Lautaro Martinez,” Paganin noted. “It wasn’t easy to replace Romelu Lukaku and Edin Dzeko.”

“And it has to be said that he’s done a great job.”

Of goalkeeper Yann Sommer’s season, Paganin said that “I’d give him a 7/10.”

“He was decisive on a number of occasions.”

“Many wondered if he was the right man for the job, but the club spotted him very well.”

“Then I’d give a 7.5/10 to Alessandro Bastoni,” Paganin continued. “When you prove yourself at this level, you have to have great personality.”

“Lastly, Nicolo Barella,” Paganin said. “He is the soul of this Inter.”

“Sometimes he can act a bit over the top,” he said of the midfielder. “But he can’t possibly get less than an 8/10.”