MILAN – Rodrigo Palacio discussed his favourite goal for the Nerazzurri, his current role within the squad and his bond with the San Siro faithful during an appearance on this week’s edition of Inter Channel’s Caffe Doppio.
"The most important goal was definitely the backheel against AC Milan in the derby," began the Argentine striker. "That said, my most spectacular strike has to be the long-range goal against Bologna in the Coppa Italia."
Inter have a long tradition of great Argentine players, and Palacio has played with some of the very best during his time at the club.
"I’ve been lucky enough to play with lots of quality Argentine centre-forwards," admitted Palacio. "Diego Milito is number one – a truly great player with the character of a leader. He was brilliant on the pitch. Mauro Icardi came here when he was very young but he’s improved a lot and has a great future ahead of him. He’s unmarkable in the box – I’m sure he’ll be one of the world’s best soon. Daniel Osvaldo was a character. He was pure talent and had the ability to do things others just couldn’t."
Now 35, Palacio revealed that he now tries to use his experience to help the younger players at Inter.
"I always try to help the young players," he said. "I speak to them a lot and try to motivate them. We have [Andrea] Pinamonti, who is a professional, talented guy. I try to spur him on to improve, but he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll become a great player. It’s tough for young players because although they train with the first team they’re often not involved for matches, but they can’t give up. They’re only 18 or 19 and they need to give 100% at all times in training to prove that they want to play. That’s what I always tell them."
Palacio also looked back at one of the low points of his career, explaining how the support of the Inter fans helped him bounce back.
"I lost a bit of confidence after we lost the World Cup final in 2014," he admitted. "I wasn’t playing much and I’d come back with an ankle problem. I was basically limping through games for eight months, but I always gave everything I had for Inter.
"I have a good relationship with the Inter fans and I want to thank them for all the love they’ve shown me ever since I joined the club. They’ve always been very good to me – I think that’s because I give 100% in every game."
Last but not least, Palacio recalled his brief cameo in goal for Inter in their 2-0 win over Verona back in 2012, after Luca Castellazzi was forced off through injury with the Nerazzurri having made all three substitutions.
"It was in the Coppa Italia and I managed to keep a clean sheet…" he said. "I never go in goal in training but I think they chose me because I’m a big basketball fan so I’m good with my hands. I was a bit nervous but I relaxed into it after the first save."