APPIANO GENTILE – At today’s press conference, neo-Nerazzurro Francesco Coco spoke about Inter’s important Champions League preliminary round encounter away to Sporting Lisbon, as well as mentioning the Azzurri’s forthcoming international against Slovenia in September.

Italy’s next international is scheduled for 21 September against Slovenia. Will Francesco Coco play?
Everyone hopes so and I hope so, too. I have a very good relationship with Trapattoni. He allowed me to make my debut for the national team – he believes in me and it’s important for him. I will always be ready to find myself in the right place, just as I have always done.

You were one of the few to be called-up, despite the fact that you were playing abroad prior to the World Cup.
I’ve always felt the coach’s confidence in me. He has confirmed his confidence in me by always calling me up, even when I played with Barcelona. I was sure because I knew the coach could count on me.

Do you agree that from a psychological point of view it’s better to play against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League preliminary rather other, weaker teams?
I think that for the mind it’s always better to play against stronger opponents. Even if you don’t want to, you always give something extra. The problem with the smaller sides can be just that – the snare of superficiality. It will be an important clash – Sporting Lisbon are Portuguese champions. Like us they are already ahead with their preparations. It’s up to us to go to Lisbon and show we are stronger.

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