MILAN – Former Italy defender and Nerazzurri legend Giuseppe Bergomi spoke to journalists on the sidelines of this afternoon's Inter Forever event at 'Solo Inter'. This is what he said:
"My comments about Juventus caused a bit of a stir? Nobody likes what I say, not even Interisti," the Nerazzurri's second-highest appearance-maker smiled. "I find it reassuring because it means I'm doing my job well. I have no issues with anyone. People just need to understand that when we're there we try to do our jobs. That's all there is to it. And that means, first of all, being unbiased, and second of all, being unbiased.
"As for the game against Fiorentina, I thought Inter looked good and played well. Samuel impressed me, and he needs to be looked after. This system with two strikers and two attack-minded central midfielders makes for a bolder Inter. I said the same thing to Mazzarri on Sky after the match the other night. It's good and they have to keep on like this, embrace the moment without setting themselves any targets and just focus on one game at a time."
Bergomi was then quizzed for his view on Mauro Icardi: "He needs to get his head down and work hard. Mazzarri is using him the right way. He scored a fine goal but then he made mistakes when linking up with Palacio because he'd run out of steam. He has to keep grafting and clocking up game time, but we're talking about a lad who's the future of Inter. A 20-year-old who scores this easily just needs to be afforded a bit of time."
Can Icardi be Milito's heir despite his slightly excessive tweeting? "Yes, the club has invested big in him. Regarding the tweets, I'm 50 years old and I have a different mentality, a different way of seeing thing, but youngsters need time to grow. And every mistake is an opportunity for growth. There's no emotion with these social networks. You never engage with the other person and people say things they would never say face to face. With time he'll improve in that respect too.
"Kovacic? He was born in '94 and I work with lads born in '95 and '96 who are still playing in the Berretti [U18] and Primavera [U19] categories. He's been playing at the top level for two years already. You just need to let him develop and find his best position. Once you've done that then he needs to be playing regularly. The problem is that when you've only got one competition it's not easy to get that continuity."
Can Inter still aim for third place? "I was sure they could at the start of the season because there's quality throughout the squad, and even more now with Hernanes. Various problems meant the team dropped points at the most important stage of the season. Eleven points is a big gap but I have to think back to what AC Milan did last year, catching up with Fiorentina and getting into the Champions League. Inter are quite capable of stringing together a run of wins, and the teams in front of them have the Coppa Italia final to play. Basically Inter need to focus on themselves and keep playing at the same level they are right now."
Finally, there was a question about Ricky Alvarez. Bergomi said: "There are only eleven places in the team but he's doing well this year, showing how good he is. You have to think about the team as a squad, not only the eleven who start. Just because a player isn't playing all the time doesn't mean the club doesn't believe in him. He can come in handy over the course of the season; if you look at his performances he's certainly improved."