Sampdoria Direcector Walter Sabatini gave an interview to Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, about how and why he left the Suning Sports Group generally as well as his assessment of Inter generally.
What memories are fondest from your time at Inter?
“The fans. They are extraordinary. 60 000 went to San Siro for a midday game against SPAL. And next year there will be even more people there.”
What did not work out with Inter?
“It was the wrong choice. I started working with an assumption that immediately failed. My goal was to start an International network but it was not possible. The government policy on football changed, there were too many restrictions. The Chinese just did not listen to me any more.”
And Luciano Spalletti?
“He is a generous man like few others. It’s impossible to pay the bill when he’s around, which is rare with a coach. His behavior is often deviated by his fears preemptively which hurts him. But he is a great person and an excellent coach.”
Does it still feels like your Roma?
“From the sale of Radja and on, no. But it was the right choice to start changing. Cycles finish and it is important to understand that in time.”
Will Allison leave?
“According to me yes, to Chelsea for €70 million. For those figures you sell your goalkeeper. Otherwise you have to withstand a contract renewal of €5-6 million net, I do not think this is the case for Roma.”
Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus?
“An obvious madness that will enrich Italian football and strengthen Juventus. It took a thoughtless courage even to think of an operation like this.”
Juve also signed Cancelo. As an ex-Interista you said “If it happens I will go mad”?
“And it happened. If you lose a player like Cancelo you get weaker. Incredible runs and an excellent technique. I have only seen Maicon at that level.”
As an ex-Romanista, were you also mad when Nainggolan went to Inter?
“There are two explanations for that deal. First the €38 million that Roma got before June 30th of which 14 returned for Santon and Zaniolo. And then they were a bit afraid, they could not control his excesses anymore. Something that Spalletti can.”
Is there a Spalletti method?
“He slept in the same room as Radja at Trigoria. “Radja, tonight we stay here me and you.” Each one in his room with the door open. Spalletti is a genius in this way. And a person like Radja, you only want good things to happen, this is a kid that fascinates you.”
Will we see the best or the worst of him at Inter?
“The best of himself as a player he gave to Roma. But he will do unexpected things with Inter, because this is a player that draws his energy from his nerves and not his muscles. A unique player.”
A great deal bringing him to Inter?
“An exhausting negotiation that ended at 5 am.”
Will Icardi be sold if the figure is right?
“It is almost impossible to find someone with his value for the money in his clause. And then Icardi is an exceptional guy with a stunning ethic, as a father, husband and a footballer. It is incredible that someone like him, with everything that goes on around stays so calm.”
The Chinese with Fabio Capello, how was it?
“It was great. Capello is very likable and he only wants good things to happen to everyone.”
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