PINZOLO – This is what Alvaro Pereira had to say during an interview with FcInter1908.it earlier this afternoon.
You know that Mazzarri wanted you at Napoli, right? Did he say anything particular to you when you arrived in Pinzolo?
"No, he said the same things that he told the others. I have to work hard to show the coach I can do well in the position he wants to play me in. At the moment I want to have a good training camp and reach the start of the season in tip-top shape."
You arrived late last year. Do you think that affected you over the course of the season? How important is it to do the training camp with the rest of the team?
"It is a bit different when you're there at the start of pre-season. I've been in Italy for a year now and it was a big difference for me to adjust to after the Portuguese league. Now I'm focused on having a great season, proving to myself, the fans and the club what I'm capable of and achieving the targets we've set ourselves."
Tottenham were rumoured to be interested in you. Did you ever think about leaving Inter? Is it true they wanted you at Monaco where lots of your former team-mates play?
"No, you hear lots of things and transfer talk is normal. It doesn't affect me, I'm just concentrating on doing a good job here at Inter. I'm certainly not thinking of moving on. Monaco? My mind is on Inter, I'm thinking about Inter and I'm an Inter player."
You were sporting a new look at the Confederations Cup. What's that due to? Is it the start of a new Pereira?
"No, I want to be the same Pereira. When you step onto the pitch, you just want to do your best. It's a new look but still the old Pereira [laughing]!"
What sort of relationship do you have with the fans? Do you think they didn't appreciate your full worth last season?
"No, I know very well that I can do better. I know what I'm good at, I know I can do better than last year and I hope to be firing on all cylinders this season. That's what I aim to do."
There were times last season when the fans were rather harsh with you and you got booed occasionally. How does a player deal with the emotional side of that?
"I didn't hear any boos last season, at least not directed at me specifically. When the team's not doing well and you're losing at home, you expect the fans to express their disappointment. But I didn't have any problems on a personal level, they've always got behind me. Everyone knows I can give Inter a lot and now I want to prove it."
There's been talk of Inter showing interest in Fernando. What do you think of your ex-team-mate? Would you recommend him?
"I don't talk about the transfer market because I respect my team-mates. I can talk about him as someone I used to play with: he's a wonderful person and a top player. But I'm not going to say any more out of respect for my Inter team-mates."