Juan Jesus: “Football played with heart”

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APPIANO GENTILE – Nerazzurri defender Juan Jesus met the media with coach Walter Mazzarri in Appiano Gentile earlier. Here’s what the Brazilian had to say in the news conference on the eve of Inter v Stjarnan.

You have written things on the wall, are there any lines that really strike a chord with you?
“The line about always playing with heart. Football is all about passion, it’s something you start doing as a kid. Football needs to be played with heart.”

It’s the first home game of the season and you’ve not played in front of your own fans since May. How do you feel about that?
“What the coach has said is right. We need to think about playing well and putting in a great performance. We have to try and win the game despite already leading 3-0 from the first leg. We must not underestimate anyone.”

Did you know that you’re the young player that Mazzarri picks the most often?
“I have to thank the coach for the opportunity he’s given me: everyone makes mistakes but I will always give everything for the team and club.”

Of all the centre-halves, you’re the one who’s best suited to playing full back. Are you ready to do that?
“I’ve often played there in the past, I used to regularly drop in at left-back when I played in Brazil. I’m relaxed, I can play in both positions.”

Do you feel you’re a part of the best defence in the league?
“The defence is not just us, it’s also the front line when they drop deep and help us defend. We’ve done that well so far, and obviously it’s easier for us if we win the ball back in midfield.”

It’s the first year without Zanetti. What’s it’s like not seeing him on the pitch?
“We all know what Zanetti has done for Inter. It’s weird seeing him in a shirt and tie, but he told me he’s still there with us.”