Tomorrow is the day of Inter-Roma and La Gazzetta dello Sport interviewed a player who has played for both teams: Cristian Chivu. The former defender from Romania retired a year ago after a long ordeal and now analyzes the current moments of Nerazzurri and Giallorossi with a more privileged than someone who observes the events from a distance.
Inter-Roma will play tomorrow: what is your view of the two clubs from your past?
“In a different way. Both have built a new foundation, but the Giallorossi started earlier. In Mancini’s group there is a lot of quality, but the security in their own ability is missing and this doesn’t allow the continuity, and therefore I think the team will be out of the Champions League. Roma’s fall has amazed me, I didn’t expect it.”
How do you imagine the future of the two rivals?
“Traditionally Inter have the obligation to return to the top in Italy and in Europe, while Roma could improve more, but it’s hard to do that if you sell the best every year to plug the holes. Both, however, have capable leaderships and I am convinced that they will do well.”
It is an advantage or not that the two clubs have foreign owners?
“Perhaps many will disagree, but to me it is an advantage. Pallotta and Thohir are bringing something new to a football where there are very many stereotypes.”
What do you remember, on the other hand, of the two old-fashioned presidents Sensi and Moratti?
“Two great persons. Sensi stood by me even in the less happy moments, for example, when my transfer from Ajax was called off. Of Moratti, instead, I can just say that everything good you hear about him you have to multiply by ten.”
Who will win tomorrow and who will be the protagonist?
“I don’t like to make predictions, however, talking about young people, I think Kovacic has a crazy talent, he is only missing confidence while Guarin and Icardi have something extra. Among the Giallorossi I like Verde, if he continues like this he can have a good career, and Ljajic seems to be doing pretty well. Iturbe instead is suffering, but at his age it isn’t easy to make the leap.”
You have won a lot in Italy, but do you have any regrets in particular?
“In general, no. I’m just sorry that I only won one Coppa Italia with Roma, but I have no bitterness. Of course, when Calciopoli was discovered I asked a few questions, but it is wrong to create an alibi. If you do that you will never grow.”
Speaking of growth, your transfer from Roma to Inter was traumatic. In the final of Coppa Italia 2010 at the Olimpico you were targeted by a group of fans to whom you responded with a rude gesture (hands to the lower parts, ed).
“My farewell was considered a betrayal, perhaps because of the amount of love that had been there before. That day I made a mistake and I apologized, but some in the tribuna Tevere said horrible things about the incident to the head that I had. The epithet “Gypsy” doesn’t offend me the same way a black player should not take it if they call him “negro”, but that day people wished for my death in a thousand ways. It was a very bad thing.”
Here the ultras are powerful and Capello, your former coach, has long said that they are the bosses of our football.
“He’s right, I think it is a battle that nobody will win. If things go well there is no problem, but if there are difficulties there is a drama. And the clubs pay the consequences.”
Did you find any differences between the ultras of Rome and those of Milan?
“I don’t know. I can’t really understand what goes through the head of a capo of the ultras. At Roma, because of the environment, I could lose a championship, while in Milan, considering the period, I was lucky, but so many things are beyond passion. It is not good for the team.”
Goalkeeper De Sanctis said he has known players who have connections to the ultras: have you known any?
“There were those who spoke to us more, some less, but that’s not the problem. I have never seen a teammate who does not commit one hundred percent to win, but I have known many who, because of the pressure they felt, could not play. Everyone enjoys the warmth of fans, but we should not forget that football is just a game. There is always a need for fair play.”
One last question: at the moment Juventus is getting great confidence. But if playing a match against the Inter that won the treble, who would win?
“I have no doubt: we would win for sure.”