APPIANO GENTILE – "When they told me Inter were interested in me I couldn’t believe it. And when I arrived it all came so quickly. I had spoken with Inter before my injury. There was still no agreement in writing but the club kept their word regardless. Walter Samuel and Javier Zanetti were the team-mates who helped me the most to get settled. They’re both great people who have won so much, and they’re also fantastic people off the pitch as well." Catch more of our conversation with Ruben Botta on InterNOS, airing now on Inter Channel.
The Nerazzurri forward explained why he chose the number 20: "It’s a number I like and one that wasn’t taken. It was Recoba’s number? Yes, I know. We’re talking about a player that I can only learn from. Just as I can learn from all of my team-mates every day, whether he’s a forward, defender or midfielder. Milito and Kovacic are the players that surprised me the most when I trained with them for the first time."
Regarding the Croatian midfielder, Botta explained: "I was impressed by how quickly he can beat his man. He’s incredibly fast, so much so that it’s very tough to mark him. Icardi and Palacio show a lot of movement. Rodrigo I especially like because he moves well on the pitch and always makes the right decision. Icardi has quite a physique and an impressive vertical leap. We have to be prepared to get on the end of his flick-ons and put them in the net."
Then, on Italian football: "It’s very tactical. And after you score you find a lot of players in front of you ready to defend. It makes it hard to keep playing. It’s the kind of football that teaches you to play, and then later you’re ready for any style. My role? I always like to play behind a forward; whether it’s on right or left doesn’t matter to me. I’ve also played as a midfielder."
Ruben then talked about Inter’s final stretch of the season: "It’s clear that qualifying for Europe is everyone’s goal, but we know there are some tough games coming up. We can make it with the group we have, but we have to do better than we’ve done in recent games."
Ruben Botta then had his chance to participate in Inter Channel’s Q&A segment.
What would you do if you hadn’t become a footballer?
"I would have liked to work with my grandfather. He’s a mechanic. I used to like to go watch him work."
Which team-mate have you bonded with the most?
"With Marcelo Cañete, who plays for Sao Paulo. He and I have been friends since we were in the youth academy at Boca Jrs, which is the team I support."
Are you afraid of flying?
What represents passion to you?
"Feeling something inside that comes from within. For example, as a kid when I went to the stadium I could feel the passion."
Do you have anything to say to the journalists?
"I don’t know. I can only say thanks for how I’ve been treated in my time here so far."
Your weak point?
"Patience. Things will come, you just need to give them time. Football isn’t a profession of speed, but of endurance."
Are you superstitious?
"No, I’m religious."
Who is the number one player in the world?
"Maradona. Among the players still active, I’d say Messi."
What do you think when you wake up in the morning?
"Just ten more minutes… [smiling]"
How will this season end?
"This season all my thoughts are on playing, and I hope Inter qualify for Europe."