Friday August 14 2020
Godin: 'I can be a leader now'

Inter defender Diego Godin says he can finally ‘be a leader on and off the pitch’ and claims the Nerazzurri are ‘in the situation they want to be in’ ahead of the semi-final against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Uruguayan defender arrived from Atletico Madrid last summer and initially struggled to establish himself in the Inter squad.

But the centre-back has been a revelation of late, helping the Beneamata to second in Serie A and the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Now, he’s focused on the task at hand and says Inter have studied their Ukrainian opponents ahead of the clash on Monday.

“We know them well, we saw the match against Basel,” he told Inter TV. “They love to keep the ball, drop down and use the flanks when they attack.

“They have a lot of quality and we must be good at pressing them and finding plays to hurt them.”

The 34-year-old, who won the competition twice during his time with Atleti, thinks the ‘harmony in the dressing room’ will be vital for the Nerazzurri to build on their current success.

“We are a good group, we always have been,” the Uruguay international added. “It’s essential to have harmony in the dressing room, combined with quality players.

“We are happy and in the situation we want to be in.”

Godin admits it took time to adapt to life in Milan and that he had to ‘win a battle with himself’ to convince coach Antonio Conte.

“I worked hard to translate his indications to the pitch, different from those of my previous experiences,” Godin conceded. “I had to change mind and body, it wasn’t easy.

“But I understood his idea, how he wants to carry the team forward. I think I won the battle with myself, now it’s easier for me to help my teammates and be a leader, with the coach’s ideas, on and off the pitch.”

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