MILAN – Jonathan turned up ahead of schedule in the company of Juan Jesus. At 15:30 he sat down and started answering the flood of tweets sent in for him by the fans. And it wasn't long before #askJonathan had become the top-trending hashtag in Italy!
He spent an hour and a half with Interisti online, responding to a whole host of topics, starting with the nickname he's been given, 'The Divine' – a name he quickly distanced himself from. "I am religious," he said in reply to the fans. "But God is unique and I'm not at all like him."
On his transformation this season compared to last year: "It was really tough for me last year and I thought about moving on. I was low on confidence. But my mum, my wife and my brother were really important in helping me get over what was a low spell for me. Then Mazzarri came in and filled me with confidence and the fans got behind me. That's how I started playing better and doing the things I'm capable of. I have lots of ambitions at Inter. I want to win things, I dream of winning the Scudetto and even the Champions League, and I'd love to be able to spend the rest of my career here."
Jonathan is a reserved character, but no less fun to be with for that matter. When asked whether he would prefer to play for Brazil or Italy, he grinned and said candidly, "Whoever calls me first!"
He rates Maicon as the best right-back in the world. So how are they different? "He's much taller than me."
His advice for youth players trying to break through, apart from putting in lots and lots of hard work, is "to never think you're the best, because that's a sure way to stop improving. Another thing that's important if you want to make it in this game is to choose your friends wisely."
Tweet after tweet, we discovered more and more about his personal life. He rarely goes out in the evening because he spends his free time with is family, and he loves Italian food. To help him focus before kick-off and the start of the second half, he listens to music and prays.
He chose 42 as his shirt number because it's the combination of two numbers he had success in: "Four was the number I wore when I won the Copa Libertadores with Cruzeiro and two is the number I had when I won player of the year in Brazil."
Finally, he had a word of thanks for Nerazzurri fans: "The fans are hugely important. It's tough on the pitch if you don't have their backing but they've given me great support. And I can't believe how many people wrote messages for me!"