MILAN – They shared four seasons together wearing the Nerazzurri shirt, winning the 1998 UEFA Cup and scoring spectacular goals along the way. ‘Bam Bam’ Ivan Zamorano and ‘El Chino’ Recoba were the protagonists of today’s episode of Inter Calling.
They immediately captured the Nerazzurri fans thanks to their talent, and each with their own specialities, such as Recoba’s left foot: “When we were young, my father used to say that we could only have a leather ball at home. The ball had to be hard, we could never use the lighter, plastic ones and so obviously I was already strong when I started playing. I don’t know if that was the reason or if it were due to genetics or whatever, but I was already standing out because I had power in my strikes. I even happened to hurt, of course unintentionally, some goalkeepers who had their hand in the wrong position. It’s the consequences of various things and experiences that guide you, and in this case it led me to kicking a ball hard, and in Ivan’s case I think about his double step to jump and head the ball.”
It’s hard to forget Zamorano’s jumping ability and his headers whilst suspended in mid-air for what seemed like an age, this was also an ability he had nurtured since childhood: “When you’re young, you always try to make progress. I knew I had a gift, which was heading, and I worked hard on it. When I was young, my mother had a chandelier in the hallway at home in our apartment from which a small artificial flower hung about 30 centimetres down. I always tried to head the flower until I was successful, and the next day when I came home from school, I’d try the same thing but couldn’t do it. So, I’d try again and again and again until I hit it. Then, the next day I wouldn’t be able to do it. It seemed weird to me. Then I found out that every time I managed to head the flower, my mother would tie it a little higher so that I’d make progress and extend my limits, until I broke the lamp and the game ended! If you have a gift and play with players like El Chino, like Ronaldo, like Baggio, like Moriero, you must be aware that you have to be ready to finish the move. That gift of mine was of course heading: I knew perfectly well that the ball would arrive in the box, and I didn’t have to do anything but head it in.”
One of the most interesting moments of the episode was El Chino’s memory of arriving at Inter: “When I arrived at Inter, I found myself amongst some of the best players in the world. I think of Bam Bam, Simeone, Ronaldo himself, Bergomi, Pagliuca and also our opponents. It’s amazing to think I got there, it’s something I would’ve never believed if you’d told me as a child. Football has certainly given me a lot; I think it’s given us all a lot more than we expected.”
Here is the full Inter Calling episode with Ivan Zamorano and Alvaro Recoba: