Yuto Nagatomo has explained Walter Mazzarri’s influence, thanked Alberto Zaccheroni and reflected on an animated film based on himself.
The Japanese full-back has this week been included in Zaccheroni’s World Cup squad for the summer and believes he heads out to the tournament having improved this year at San Siro.
“I can get better, but I do think I've done some good things this year and I must thank Mazzarri for that,” Nagatomo has commented to reporters this week, in quotes run on Inter’s official website.
“It’s thanks to what he's taught me that I've improved the attacking side of my game and the mental side too.
“Thanks to him I've learnt to improve my movement in attack and that's why I've managed to score more goals.
“The World Cup? I thank Zaccheroni for calling me up. Now I'd like to be able to win the World Cup.
“There's even more desire after 2010, it's even stronger in me. I've never felt such a strong desire for success as what I'm feeling going into this World Cup.”
Nagatomo was talking at the Japan Film Festival held this week in Milan, where one of the films presented was an animated film based on himself - Yuto-kun ga Iku.
“When they came to me with the idea of this cartoon I was instantly positive about it because I want children to understand that they need desire and strength so they don't give up chasing their dreams.
“That's exactly what happened to me. So the message I want to give to kids is never give up and be positive.
“I'm a footballer now and that's what I dreamt of doing. I play for a very important team, Inter, so someone has given me a lot and I feel I should always give back.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!