NEWS
Saturday March 22 2014
Jonathan open to Italy call

Jonathan has reiterated that he would consider a call from Cesare Prandelli, as he reflects on Walter Mazzarri’s impact in his rebirth at Inter.

The Brazilian full-back’s form of late for the Nerazzurri has raised the suggestion that he may be in line to become Italy’s latest Oriundo.

Last weekend saw the 28-year-old allude to such a possibility too and it is something he has today looked to clarify, but also reiterate.

“Here I want to clarify one thing - it was not me who proposed this, instead I was answering a question,” Jonathan began in conversation today with Tuttosport.

“I work in Italy, I play for a big club like Inter and, if the possibility arrived to play for the national team at the World Cup, I would take it.

“Would I accept a call from Cesare Prandelli? At this time, yes. In football you live in the present and you have to call the players who are doing best.

“Why did I say I wanted to play with Andrea Pirlo? Because he is the best player in Italy. When I played against him, we exchanged shirts.

“I like to see him play, he uses his right and left with ease and is always switched on, whilst expressing tranquillity. He is extraordinary.”

The defender initially struggled at Inter, before a return from a temporary stint at Parma has seen him develop into a regular first-team player.

“Why so long to come through? Because I was used a different style of football, because they lacked confidence in me, because I was not given the opportunity to play so many games in a row.

“Now I know Italian football, I have a Coach in Walter Mazzarri who has confidence in me and I have finally been given the continuity that I was looking for.

“I never thought I didn’t have the technical qualities to play for a team like Inter. Because I know what I can do and because people who know football told me that my issues were only a question of the mind, not a lack of quality or physical means.

“Did the comparisons with Maicon weight me down? That was an idea for you journalists and fans, but I’ve always said, since the first interview, I was not the new Maicon, but Jonathan.”

Jonathan made clear that Walter Mazzarri deserves the credit for his improvement at San Siro.

“If I had to do a percentage, I would say 100 per cent. I owe him everything - he taught me how to move diagonally in the correct way, to always be in the line of the ball, to stand up to the opponent in possession to create more space and clarity.

“He gave me confidence that I lacked - the first day he arrived he called me into his office and told me he knew my quality and that I was an important player for Inter. I’ll never forget that.

“What’s my dream? To stay at Inter for a long time.”

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