Nicolò Barella claims he is “prepared to die” for Antonio Conte, as “the only difference between Inter and Juventus now is experience.”
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“Conte has a different attitude to most Coaches, a way of talking to you that passes on something new,” Barella told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I’d be prepared to die for him and that is true of all his players. That makes the difference. We’d get ourselves killed for this Coach. Have you seen how Conte’s teams run during games? It’s not just because of their fitness training, it’s because of the message he puts in our heads.”
Barella’s other important tactician is Italy CT Roberto Mancini, as he was too young to work under Conte for the Nazionale.
“They have different training methods and tactics. There are similarities in the confidence they instil in the players and the focus on the opposition strengths and weaknesses, so we always know what to do when we get out there.”
The Conte effect was already visible in Inter’s performance at Camp Nou, dominating for the first half until a Luis Suarez brace turned it around for the 2-1 Barcelona victory.
“That defeat really was difficult to swallow, more for the refereeing than the result. In that game, we still proved who we are and what we can do. For 65-70 minutes, we dominated Barcelona, the top team in the world.
“A victory would’ve made bigger headlines and amplified the message, but the fact remains we showed character and that night will be important for our future.
“The only difference between Inter and Juventus right now is experience, as they’ve known each other for loner as a group. The Coach asked from the start for very specific elements and we are putting them into practice, which is why I say we’re on the same level as Inter.
“Juve won the Scudetto with a 21-point advantage last season, so we want to at the very least close that gap. We create a lot of chances and don’t convert enough of them, so that is the next step in our development.”
Barella also has the opportunity to learn from Inter legend Dejan Stankovic.
“We have a similar attitude on the field, as like him, I never pull out of a challenge. However, I do envy his ability to score goals from distance.”
The former Cagliari midfielder does enjoy interacting with fans, unless they broach a subject he really doesn’t appreciate…
“I can’t stand it when people talk to me about Fantasy Football teams. It’s not the game in itself, it’s when they insult me because they lost points after my bad performance… as if otherwise I’d be really happy with playing badly. I do feel like telling them where to go when that happens.
“I also don’t like people who are fake or those who want to label me as being a hard man on the field.”
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