Friday December 20 2019
Lautaro: 'Inter are my home'

Lautaro Martinez has assured that he is “happy” at Inter and revealed how his “uncomfortable childhood” made him more “humble”.

Barcelona have been heavily linked with signing Martinez to replace Luis Suarez, but the speculation only makes the Argentine feel like he’s doing something right.

“I am happy here, it’s my home and I trust Conte,” the 22-year-old told La Repubblica.

“The interest from other clubs means that I’m developing and working in the right way. That’s the most important thing for me.”

“This is my home. I will always be grateful to Inter, who are helping me grow.”

Lautaro signed for the Nerazzurri from Racing Club in July 2018 and has gone on to become an undisputed starter on the blue half of San Siro.

“I refused other offers. I chose this club for its history, the level of the players and the affection of the fans.

“I spoke to [Vice-President Javier] Zanetti over text. When I landed here, it was like getting back after a long period away.”

He then explained how his difficult upbringing impacted on his character - and relationship with strike partner Romelu Lukaku.

“I lived through an uncomfortable childhood. I made it because of my parents.

“My father played football when he was young and passed his passion on to my me and my brothers.

“There was no money, but we always had a plate on the table and a ball.”

“Having an experience like that strengthens you, helps you keep your feet on the ground and remain humble. In that sense, we are similar.”

The attacker discussed what it was like to work under Antonio Conte, who is known for his demanding methods.

“His training sessions are very tough, but it’s essential when you play five games in two weeks.

“We got to know each other very quickly, I appreciate his passion for football.

“Before the match at Camp Nou against Barcelona, he told me one sentence that made my game explode.

“I will always be grateful. They were precious words that I keep to myself and that are only for me.”

Finally, Martinez expressed his admiration for Lionel Messi and why he remained thankful to ex-teammate Mauro Icardi.

“[Lionel Messi] is like [Diego] Maradona for us, I would like to help him and Argentina to win the World Cup. To play in that tournament is my dream.

“When I came here, he [Mauro Icardi] really helped me to adapt. We still keep in touch, we are friends and he is happy.”

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