Sunday August 31 2014
Osvaldo: 'I laugh at bad boy tag'

Daniel Osvaldo hopes to “stay at Inter for a long while,” insists his bad boy image is unfair and reveals Diego Maradona made him cry.

The forward is on loan from Southampton with an option to buy at the end of the season and spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“What are our objectives? Zero talking, as that only brings bad luck. We love facts, as Walter Mazzarri likes to say.

“It’s said Mazzarri wanted me for years... Starting in a new club with a Coach that strongly wanted you, well, that’s great. It’s motivating, as I have to prove he wasn’t wrong to put his faith in me. I like his character.”

Not everyone is willing to bet on Osvaldo after he was thrown out of the Saints for head butting team-mate Jose Fonte during a training session, following on from the time he punched Erik Lamela at Roma.

“Have I had punch-ups? Let’s just say that two out of 10 are true. Then there were some fans who hated me and were looking for a scapegoat.

“This ‘bad boy’ label annoyed me at the start, but now I laugh about it. I am a perfectly normal person, but only one thing drives me crazy: injustice. I cannot stand it and if I see injustice, I lose my head.

“I always reacted to injustice and sometimes went too far, putting me in the wrong. I am learning to calm down now.

“It’s true that I tend to leave after a red card or a fight, because I no longer feel respect and that means I don’t feel like staying anymore.

“On the pitch you can say anything you want and I don’t care, but off it you’d best leave me alone. Off the field I am Daniel and anything that happens is my business, so don’t stick your nose in.”

Yet Osvaldo admits he’s tired of moving around and hopes to settle down with the Nerazzurri.

“I do want some stability. Why did I change so many clubs? It just went that way, I don’t like looking back. I’m happy with my journey so far. They are all experiences. Now I want to stay at Inter for a good long while.”

The Rolling Stones obsessive also likes to cultivate his rock star image with dozens of tattoos, but one is his favourite.

“A salmon because he’s a genius. He doesn’t care what anyone else is doing and goes down his path – against the flow.”

Born and raised in Argentina, but representing Italy at international level since the Under-21 stage, Osvaldo’s heroes played in Serie A.

“I was 17 and Olarticoechea, who played with Maradona, told me a friend would meet us. He said to bring my Huracan jersey, as this guy was a fan. OK. I got to the house, rang the doorbell and Maradona opened the door.

“He said ‘Hola Daniel, I saw your game on Saturday. You’re good.’ He was at his parents’ house. I started crying with the sheer emotion of it and trembled as I handed him my jersey. I cried like a child, which I still was at the time.

“I met Gabriel Batistuta two months ago for the first time. I read of his problems with his legs and was really struck by that.

“We were in the same plane and I asked him for a photograph. I felt like a kid again, just as with Maradona. He’s an absolute idol. I’ve got the machine gun goal celebration ready in his honour.”

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