LEONARDO: "ETO'O, ONE OF THE WORLD'S BEST"

"An extraordinary player. He always scores, can play anywhere and works for the team, even in defence"

APPIANO GENTILE – If he plays against Catania tomorrow, Samuel Eto'o will make his 100th appearance in a Nerazzurri shirt. Leonardo was full of praise for the Cameroon striker in his pre-match press conference: "If you look at what he has achieved over the years, not only in terms of what he has won with his teams, his Champions League trophies including scoring in the final, and if you also look at what he has done this season, we're talking about extraordinary figures, which confirm that he's one of the best players in the world. He's in great form at the moment and he's got his just reward this season for the number of goals he's scored, while playing in various positions. He can play in lots of different ways and he works very hard for the team, which isn't easy. It's often said that strikers don't have what it takes to be involved in the defensive side of the game, but in Eto'o's case it seems as if it comes to him naturally. Eto'o is without doubt one of the best players in the world."

During the conference one of the more delicate issues to be dealt with this summer was brought up: the fact that the Copa América will keep lots of Inter players away for most of July. Leonardo elaborated: "We have Argentinian and Brazilian players who will be involved from 1 to 24 July and the Euro 2012 qualifiers will go on till 7 June. That's why our idea is to have a month's holiday and start our pre-season on 8 July. Then there will be the Under-20s with Coutinho probably involved in August. It's complicated. I understand the importance of these competitions but it won't be easy for us. It will be tiring."

Yuto Nagatomo, who won't be taking part in the Copa América, was praised once more by the coach: "He can play on the right and on the left in defence, on both sides of a four-man midfield... He performs well regardless of which flank he plays on. He's a quality player."


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