18.04.12 / 17:50
MILAN – More than 500 people formed in an orderly queue in Via Berchet, Milan, outside the official club store 'Solo Inter' today. The Nerazzrruri fans were all waiting to meet Yuto Nagatomo and take home an autograph and a few souvenirs snaps of their idol.
Yuto was his usual smiling self, happy to spend time with the fans and surprised at all the affection they showed towards him, turning out in numbers despite the rain falling on Milan. Besides the photographs and the autographs there were also a few statements from the Nerazzurri player, who answered questions from the Italian and Japanese journalists at the shop.
Yuto is confident upbeat going into the run-in and when asked about third place he grinned: "It's within reach. Yes, I really think it is. Now we're concentrating on Fiorentina, our next opponents, and we're ready for them. To the fans I say 'keep giving us your support'. They're so important. You can't have football without fans."
Nagatomo believes in the ability of this group and feels an important part of it: "I feel I'm part of the team, everyone treats me well, the players and the club. I'm happy at Inter. Have I ever considered leaving? No, never. As I said, I'm happy here and I'm ready to make the most of every chance I get."
The defender was then asked about the change at the helm, from Claudio Ranieri to Andrea Stramaccioni: "The tactical work is different with Stramaccioni and he also has us doing a lot of work on set pieces. Has the new coach ever tried me out in a three-man midfield? No, never. In any case, I'm ready when he wants me and I'm sure my chance will come."
Finally, Nagatomo was asked to comment on the possibility of two of his fellow countrymen coming to Serie A. Kawashima, who could be in AC Milan's sights according to the journalists, and Kagawa (Is he good enough to play for Inter?). "They are both good enough to play for top clubs. They have always said that Italy carries a lot of appeal for them."