Thursday July 23 2015
Hernanes: 'Mancini changed me'

Hernanes said he feels “stronger” than ever, while Inter Coach Roberto Mancini “changed me” into a trequartista.

The former Lazio midfielder spoke to Inter Channel in Shanghai, where the team is taking part in the International Champions Cup.

“I finally started to feel good physically in February and everything changed. From when I arrived at Inter, I never felt at the top of my fitness levels after injuries I was not accustomed to.

“After a few months it took me to adapt, I started giving more and felt useful to the team. Now I feel much stronger physically and am not afraid to go into the tackle or header.

“As soon as I arrived in Italy, my markers would destroy me and I’d always ask for a free kick. Instead now I like to play rough and have become accustomed to the Italian style. I’ve changed mentally too, as I love the more aggressive European style of football.

“I also don’t feel that I am slow any more. When I changed training style, I had to wonder if I was slow before or just badly trained. I do feel different and much stronger.

“The sharpest period of my career is coming up, in which I will enjoy myself playing and winning. I’ve waited a long time for this.”

Hernanes has also mutated under Mancini, turning into an effective trequartista behind the strikers.

“The Coach is tough and never lets go of his philosophy of football. As a player he had so much quality, so expects as much from his squad now. He wants to win while playing good football.

“I didn’t have the right characteristics to play trequartista before, but now I feel comfortable there because Mancini changed me.”

Inter invested heavily this summer with the likes of Jeison Murillo, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Joao Miranda, so can they win?

“When you create self-belief and everyone has the same objective, sooner or later you get there,” insisted Hernanes.

“The President is also doing so much and investing in the team, the gym and the training ground. He gave us all the tools we need to give our best.

“The players are also hungry for trophies. The fans want to win as much as we do, so all together we are targeting victory.

“Last season we achieved much less than was within our capabilities, so this year we have to reap double to make up for it.”