MILAN - Erick Thohir visited the Centro Sportivo Giacinto Facchetti with Steve Horowitz this afternoon. After taking a look around the academy training centre, the Nerazzurri president spoke to Sky Italia.
How did the meetings at Inter's youth academy go and what do you think is the most important aspect for young players?
"What I said to the academy coaches today is that they are actually the heroes at Inter because they have the responsibility for producing good players. Scouting as well: they have good scouting here and that's why we're able to bring new talents to the academy. The same thing I mentioned to the players: talent is not enough because if they don't have the character and discipline they can't become stars. There's too much money in football and sometimes they want quick money and they can be successful for two or three years but then they go down because they focus on other things. We have a great example at Inter: Javier Zanetti. He's 40 already and he's still disciplined and I don't think many young players can be like him. But with a good coach and a strong organisation I'm sure we can still produce very good young players. Inter has one of the best academies in Italy, even in Europe. I want it to be one of the best in the world but not now. Right now my main to focus is on business for Inter, then on the team and then of course on the academy."
In Italy lots of people say you can't win with young players. What do you think?
"I don't agree because at the end of the day 11 players go out on the pitch. We can have superstars but we can't have all superstars. With a combination of superstars and young players you can always have a good team. I think all successful teams start with talented young players, it's always a combination."
Are there any young players that you like and would like to see playing for Inter?
"I like Bardi and Mbaye... They could be future Inter players but of course it's up to the management and the coach. But I hope one day they will join the Inter team."