Vecino: “My debut and the goal against Lazio are feelings I’ll never forget”


The Nerazzurri midfielder answers the fans’ questions

MILAN – The protagonist of today’s video chat was Matias Vecino, who answered the many questions sent in by the fans on Inter’s social media profiles from home. He revealed a lot about himself, from his feelings wearing the Nerazzurri shirt to his daily life in this strange, difficult period: “We have to wait for this tricky situation to improve and we must respect the rules so that everything returns to normal. During these days, I'm spending a lot of time with my family and training. We're also playing cards and ping-pong and watching TV. I’m currently watching Vikings, it’s a bit different but I like it.”

The fans’ questions take us back in time, stopping at decisive moments for Vecino and the players, such as his goal against Lazio: “It was an important moment for me because I was coming from a period when I'd had some problems, and that goal resulted in us ending the season with a win that allowed Inter to return to the Champions League. That’s a memory I’ll never forget, the match was like a final: the adrenaline meant I didn’t sleep much that night. It was a bit different against Tottenham, but scoring a goal like that in front of the fans was amazing.”

On his feelings around matches and the fans: “Going out on the pitch wearing Inter’s shirt is an incredible feeling. The first time I experienced this was against Fiorentina, so I had to go up against my ex-teammates. It was a special game.”

Then he spoke about his family, traditions and his roots: “For me, my family are everything: they give me strength and incentive to try and improve myself every day, and I dedicate every goal I score to them. The people of Uruguay have a strong culture of hard work and sacrifice. We’re a small country with about three million citizens, but there are so many players from Uruguay who play for big sides. We’re capable of adapting a lot and this gives us strength. For us, mate is sacred! It’s a kind of bitter tea, it has a strong taste, but we’re used to it, it’s part of our tradition. It’s also made in Argentina but with different herbs, and in Paraguay it’s made with cold water. The garra charrua? The “charrua” were the Indians who lived in the territories of Rio de la Plata, who rebelled and fought not to be colonised. This has been translated to use in football terms as a force, a spiritual path that allows you to keep fighting and never give up. This is defined by the national team, who have won two World Cups and 15 Coppa America titles. That’s the ‘mythology’ that belongs to the phrase.”

The fans were also curious about his teammates and what happens on the pitch: “There’s a lot behind what we do on the pitch, from training to nutrition. Like everyone, I have ups and downs during the year but, being a dynamic player, if I’m in good physical shape then my performances are better. I've had a teammate that’s been with me throughout my time in Italy, Borja Valero. He’s the guy I’ve spent the most time with in the world of football after three years together at Fiorentina and three years here, he also lives near me.” What if I had a race with Brozovic? “Marcelo is very strong, it’s true that he runs a lot, but I’d win. He’s unique, he’s nice and really funny.”

Finally, he comments on the football and his Nerazzurri aims: “I hope I can make a mark here and be remembered in a group of players who have created Inter history. Obviously, you have to win some trophies to do that, and we’re working on that and hopefully we’ll succeed.” My favourite player? “I’ve always said Veron, who I followed as a kid. He was one of my idols.” Vecino is a good luck charm for Chinese fans: “I didn’t know that, I’m happy to hear it. Since being here, I’ve been to China three times, both with the national team and with Inter. I was surprised because they have a great passion for football and Inter: I remember the airport was full of Nerazzurri fans.”

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