APPIANO GENTILE - Andrea Romanò and Marco Benassi, both debutants in yesterday's match against Rubin Kazan, were guests on Prima Serata (tonight at 21:00 on Inter Channel) as they met host Roberto Scarpini.
How was your debut at Rubin Kazan? As a young player, do you improve more playing in a mid-table team or in Serie B, or by training with great players?
Benassi: "I think it's better to train at a big club where you can learn from players with plenty of experience, who have won a lot of trophies, I think you improve more as a result. So I think it's better to train with a big club."
But you still need to play...
Benassi: "Yes, of course, but I think it's OK at the beginning. If I need to gain experience elsewhere, so be it."
Romanò: "I agree with Marco."
Who are you learning the most from? From our most experienced players? Which midfielder are you most trying to emulate?
Romanò: "You pick up things from everyone. Everyone's been helpful. You look at what your team-mates are doing and then you try to do your best over time."
Benassi: "I'd say mainly Zanetti and Cambiasso, because they play the same position as me, they've got vast experience and they're both brilliant players."
Who do you think is the best player in your position in the world?
Benassi: "I think Xavi at Barcelona."
Romanò: "I think Iniesta."
What are the strengths of Andrea Stramaccioni, with whom you won the NextGen Series, and Daniele Bernazzani, with whom you won the league?
Romanò: "Stramaccioni prepares every game meticulously and before every match you know what you need to do. It's the same with Bernazzani. He relaxes you and they're both terrific coaches."
What did your team-mates say to calm you down and get you ready for the match against Rubin Kazan?
Benassi: "They told me to relax because at the end of the day it's just a football match and I should play my normal game. That I should just do what I do in training every day, give 100% and it would all go well."
Which team-mate helps you the most in training?
Romanò: "Zanetti and Cambiasso. They are the two players who help young players the most. But everyone gives us a hand. Yesterday, before the match, Andrea Ranocchia came over to calm me down just like my other team-mates."
What's it like not only playing teams in Italy, but to have had the chance to take on some of the best sides from abroad like in the Viareggio tournament or in the NextGen Series?
Romanò: "It's different playing against foreign teams and it helps you to progress. It means when you play domestically you have the edge over your opponents."
Do you think you'll get more playing time now you've made your first team debut? How do you see your career going forward?
Benassi: "I'm really enjoying being at Inter. We'll see next year if the club want to send me out on loan. But I've been happy at Inter ever since I joined from Modena last year."
Romanò: "I came through the academy in Como and then I joined Inter's Giovanissimi Regionali (Under-13s) in 2006."
You've played under a lot of coaches since 2006...
Romanò: "I began with Cerrone, then I worked with De Paoli, Tommasoni, Gatti, Pea - who brought me into the Primavera - and finally Stramaccioni."
Do you follow the careers of your former team-mates and coaches after they left Inter?
Romanò: "Yes. Last year I followed Sassuolo who had a great season and very nearly got promoted into Serie A. Pea is doing a great job with Padova as well this year."
What's it like playing with Zanetti?
Romanò: "It's amazing but unlike him, I've only played one game, he's played more than 800."
Benassi: "It's a great privilege, he's an Inter legend, he's made history here and it's a special feeling playing with him."
When commentating on the match on Thursday evening, Beppe Bergomi praised both of your performances. This must make you very proud...
Benassi: "To be honest I've not heard it yet and I've not yet had a chance to watch the game back because I stayed here at Appiano Gentile last night. I had been told that though, and Bergomi is someone I know personally, because I came up against him in the league as an opposition coach. We had so much success last season, we won the Primavera and Berretti titles as well as the NextGen Series."
Yesterday you seemed to start the match against Rubin Kazan with the handbrake on?
Romanò: "Yes perhaps it was because it was my first start."
Do you still go to school?
Romanò: "No, I got my diploma as a surveyor."
Benassi: "I'm studying accounting but this year I've only been once."
How do you manage your time between studying and playing for Inter?
Romanò: "When I was at middle school, I studied here at Appiano Gentile, then I'd take the coach to the Centro Sportivo Giacinto Facchetti for training. I'd come back in the evening and study like a normal kid."
What are the differences between playing in the Primavera and the first team?
Benassi: "I realised yesterday that there's a lot more intensity in the first team, a higher tempo. The game is played a faster pace and you have to be focused at all times."
Romanò: "In the first team you need to be switched on for the whole game."
Who was your childhood hero?
Benassi: "Now I play for Inter, I'd say Zanetti."
Romanò: "Same for me."
Now you play for Inter, do the girls look at you in a different way?
Romanò: "They never looked at me before and not much has changed!"
Do you feel like men?
Benassi: "Not quite men... young men."
What do you do in your free time?
Benassi: "We play Playstation and go to the cinema with friends, and I share a flat with Simone Pasa."
Romanò: "The same things all guys do: I go out and have a laugh with my friends, I spend time at home with my family and I go out with my girlfriend."