“2018 was the most beautiful year in my life. Just magical. The marriage, the transfer to Inter, the debut in the Champions League, the goal scored for the national team…”
That was Matteo Politano looking back to the past year when he achieved many milestones not only in his personal but also professional life.
“Putting them events in order? Well, the Italian shirt and Champions League are thrilling emotions but marriage made me a happy man. But yes, I am very lucky to play close to great champions that can help me grow everything. Looking at the past season with Sassuolo where I scored so many goals. That was an exception because I played in another role. But now, I have to score more, to be more deadly when the chances come. I am working hard on this.”
Did you know that on social media, fans have their fun associating the times that you were replaced to the points that Inter dropped?
“Compliments can only please me. But it is not correct. Coach made his decisions based on so many close matches that we have had this year. He has to measure the strength that we have and we have many good players in this team.”
Tell us one thing that Spalletti is different from other coaches.
“He talks to us a lot. His ideas of football come into your head and they stay there. I immediately felt his trust and because of it, I always have this feeling of “I will always give my all.” I watched his Roma as a fan and for me, that was one of the most beautiful Roma teams ever.”
Speaking of coaches, you were also coached by Di Francesco. Are you surprised by the difficulties that he is facing?
“Roma are an important club and there is pressure. It is not easy to manage it. He also lost 4-5 important players and so starting out with so many young player is not easy.”
You said “young.” Does it bother you that in Italy, you are still considered young at 25 years old?
“It does. Italy should change. Having second teams is a solution to avoid the big jump from Primavera to Serie B. But in general, the mental approach towards the youngsters should change. In England and in the Netherlands, there are 18-19 year-olds with 20 games played in Champions League…”
If we say Stramaccioni, what would you say?
“Without him, I would not be here. I was thinking of quitting football after a year without seeing the pitch (Giovanissimi Nazionali). At 16, I was thinking of taking another path. Then he came, after a month I started playing and did not stop. I will always remember him in my heart.”
But let’s redo the history. If today Politano was not a footballer, what would he be?
“A mechanic, just like my father and brother. I have always liked cars. When I was a child, I often went to the workshop to help my father. I used to put things on, taking them off. I loved that job.”
You aren’t much of a footballer on social media.
“I am reserved, timid. I am not on there to make videos, it is not me. I know others do it but, again, it is not for me. I really do the least possible. My wife is the same. We are far from the spotlight. We have known each other from middle school. We lived 2 km away in Rome and met each other at 17 years old and never left. She’s a very reserved woman and I am very happy with her.”
Easier to happen in 2019: you become a father or Inter win Europa League?
“Europa League is easier. There is time to become a father. We will take things easy.”
Can Inter really do it?
“We believe. Chelsea are the strongest rival but we are strong as well and can reach the final.”