Christian Eriksen explains how his relationship with Antonio Conte has evolved and admits ‘it was hard to win’ before joining the Nerazzurri.
“It was hard to win before I joined Inter, perhaps I am living the best moment of my career,” the midfielder told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Eriksen moved to Inter from Tottenham in January 2020, but struggled to settle in at the Giuseppe Meazza.
“I was willing to learn new things when I arrived. I hadn’t understood I had to follow Conte’s system all the time,” he said.
“Before, I was free to make decisions based on what I saw. It had a lot to do with intuition. Now, there is a general plan we have to follow. We must be ready, know where the teammates are and where they can move.
“I had to learn all this and adapt to a different pace. We spoke in January, and I’ve proved what I am able to do.”
“I have no revenge to take, I just play football. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it doesn’t. This is a sport that evolves quickly, almost every week. Six months ago I was living in a different situation, now we have a trophy and I can say I am really happy here at Inter,” the 29-year-old continued.
“It was hard to win this title, but we did it with four games remaining. It’s a good starting point, now we can begin a new cycle. It will be hard to win nine titles in a row, but we’ll try to build something beautiful.
“Conte is so important for each one of us, also for the way we play. We follow him and you see that on the pitch. Everyone is so happy to have won with him. However, his stay is not up to me, it depends on the club and him.”
Does he see himself as a better footballer now?
“No, I like the way I used to play before and I like how I play now. I do different things and I have a trophy in my CV, maybe that’s why the others see me as a better footballer.”
Was his goal against Milan in a Coppa Italia derby the turning point of his season?
“Only from the outside, maybe it changed the way people looked at me. The situation changed when I could get consistent game time and I gained the trust of the coach and my teammates.”
José Mourinho will return to Serie A from next season. He was the Tottenham coach when Eriksen joined Inter in 2020.
“We only worked together for a few months, but his return is a good thing for Serie A,” said the former Spurs midfielder.
“It helps the whole system, I can’t compare him to Conte, because I’ve known the latter for longer time, they have strong personalities, it will be a nice challenge.”
How about Romelu Lukaku?
“I had no doubts about him, neither in the Premier League, I consider him the best striker out there. He is incredible, and now he is even more dominating than he used to be. It’s better to play with him than against him.”
How is your life in Italy? And is it easy to learn Italian?
“Swear words are the easiest ones to learn, but I am learning new words every day. If you talk slowly, I can communicate too. I still can’t follow a movie in Italian, but I only watch football games and cartoons with my sons.
“Food is much better here than in Denmark or England. I don’t need a car in the city center. I walk in the surroundings, go to the park with my children or to the bakery. I just don’t like the pandemic. I haven’t had a chance to enjoy the city, I am looking forward to the end of it to become a real Milanese.”