APPIANO GENTILE – "Up front, on the left or on the right, it doesn't matter to me: I'll play wherever the coach wants to put me." That's how Ruben Botta introduced himself to the gathered media during a press conference at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti today.
Sitting alongside him was sporting director Piero Ausilio, whom he thanked as he spoke about his injury and how much help Inter have given him. "I went through a really tough time when I got injured. I feared my dream move to Inter would go up in smoke. But Piero Ausilio and the club as a whole were really helpful and said they would wait for me. I'm very grateful for that.
"I'd also like to thank Livorno for taking me on loan in the first part of the season and also the coach, who's shown that he believes in me."
Botta proudly held up his No.20 Nerazzurri shirt, a number which for Interisti brings back memories of Alvaro Recoba. "He's a fantastic player. I used to love the way he played the game. I have to work my socks off to perform at my best wearing such an important jersey. I try to learn from players like Recoba who can make the difference on the pitch. Footballers who have played at the very top, people like Riquelme and Messi – Argentines who are important figures for me. There's another player I always used to look up to, although he's not Argentine: Ronaldo. He's part of the history of this club, an idol."
The forward then commented on his own form and the difficult period the team are going through: "On a personal level I think I've improved day by day over the last month, and my knee is fine now. I'm trying to do my best at all times.
"As for the team, it's not a good moment for us but it's at times like this when you see what people are made of, when you see the men not just the footballers. You have to put defeats and problems behind you and try to learn from your mistakes and move on."
On his decision to join Inter: "This club is a dream for Argentine players and not only Argentines. Of course the fact that there were lots of my fellow countrymen here did influence my choice because they are great men and great footballers. I'm trying to learn everything I can from them."
Botta also had a special mention for Kovacic "He's such a skilful player and he's got a very bright future ahead of him. The same goes for Juan Jesus. They're both young players that I've been impressed by."