He has been back in Brazil for a few years now but Felipe Melo still has Italy in his heart and continues to follow its football with immense passion. In an interview with FCIN1908, the Brazilian discusses Serie A and focuses on the upcoming Italian derby between Inter and Juventus.
You have always respected Juventus despite your words that you support Inter. For you, Inter-Juventus cannot be just another match…
“Thank you for these words because since I left Turin, people always say that I speak ill of Juventus but that is not the case. I have always had great respect for that club and what it has done for me. But I am an Interista, have been long before I came to Italy and everybody knows it. The game on Saturday will obviously be very important for Inter because it can give a big push towards the Champions League but it will be a bit different from others because Juventus do not have the same pressure as the Nerazzurri as they already won the title. The stadium will be full and the home fans will be screaming for the entire game. Inter have that it takes to win and must do so because with one false step, all those behind can certainly reach them. I am optimistic: we can do it.”
Thought on Icardi situation?
“I know that there have been many conversations about him and his wife. To me, he has always been a good person, a great player. He has big heart besides the fact that he scores on the pitch. You know about my character, I would not have any trouble telling different things about you. I also listened to the words of Cassano and many other former players but I did not hear Wanda’s words so I can say little about this. Maybe the mistake was to give him the armband years ago because he is not a player with a story behind him and trophies in the cabinet. We must not forget that we are talking about a glorious club that is Inter. When I was there, we had this type of talk in the dressing room but it never went on any further. But to me, someone like Icardi must always play, he is the bomber of this team.”
Would you exchange it with Dybala?
“Dybala is another great player but he is different from Icardi and I do not think that he could do what Icardi does for Inter. I would take Lukaku though. He destroys defenders, very strong with his head, technical, fast and is used to play in a great team. Lautaro? I like him but this is his first season: difficult to give judgements.”