Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport
Every week Football Italiano brings you a translation of one of la Gazzetta dello Sport’s interviews with a major name from the world of Italian football. This time it is the turn of Milan’s Filippo Inzaghi, fresh from securing his 300th professional goal…
MILANELLO. Obsessed, possessed, fixated. At the beginning though he didn’t feel like celebrating. “You may think I must have been jumping up and down after my first goal in Serie A. It was not so instead, because I scored against Piacenza. I grew up there and I love my roots”. He loves his roots and his family, so much that to the list of his potential heirs (Paloschi, Pozzi, Pazzini) Filippo adds Tommaso, son of his brother Simone. “I hope to see myself in him. But let him grow up first”. He loves his family and tranquility, so much that his fiancée Alessia became the centre of his world and his dog Shirley became an important part of his daily life. His mates nicely take the mick: Pippo crazy about a dog, who would have thought it? And yet Filippo Inzaghi, almost 36, changed but stayed the same. “I try to play like I used to, even if now I’ve got something less from the physical point of view and something more from the psychological point of view”.
Tell us about the night after your 300th goal.
“I didn’t sleep. But then again, after the goals in Athens I didn’t sleep for 10 days. It’s just the way I am, I like to play as if I were 20 years old, I steal the balls at the end of the match. I stole 2 in one week: the one of the hat-trick and the one of my 300th goal as a professional. On the way home, Alessia told me ‘you’re like a child’. She’s right, but I think that’s the spirit that lead me to here”.
You next aim: 318 goals like Baggio?
“I’d like to reach 319, but I know it’s difficult. And I’d like 2 things to happen above all: to be in the Champions League again with Milan and to feel always fine as I do now”.
When do you think you’ll retire?
“I don’t want to draw any line, but I’d like to quit at the right time. I don’t want to be told by other people. My career deserves to end nicely”.
Have you thought about what you’ll do?
“I’d like to pass to children my love for football: often you see many talents fade for silly reasons; I’d like them to understand how many emotions you are given by this, something I find hard to call ‘job’. But I don’t know whether I’ll be a coach, perhaps I’ll be a commentator on TV. The strain of the day before wears me out, I wonder if I’ll be willing to feel it again. Plus I’m too good-hearted to be a coach. Like Ancelotti”.
Ancelotti is doing it successfully though.
“True. And he was good at making everybody love him. I should learn from him. We’ve got a special relationship.
After your 300th goal you received tons of messages and compliments. What was the nicest one?
“I liked them all, I thank everyone. I was moved by the clapping in the changing room in Siena: it should have been me applauding them. And I liked that Beckham compared me to Lineker. When I was a child I wore number 10 because Lineker had it: I used to love him because he scored all the time”.
What is the thing you dislike the most about football?
“The summer break. But I play on the beach anyway”.
They say that you weren’t gifted by nature.
“I don’t really agree: my nous is a gift of nature. They depict me as a robber in the area, but I believe there’s more. I can’t dribble like the fantasisti do, but sometimes it’s me marking the defender rather than the opposite: you never know, the ball could fall well”.
Which of your team-mates do you owe the most to?
“There’s many of them, I’ve had the luck to play for great teams and with great champions. If I were to pick a single name I’d say Kakà”.
Who would you recommend to Milan as a future striker?
“With Pato, Borriello and Kakà, Milan will be fine for years”.
Have you ever done an assist?
“It happens sometimes. I even made one for Baggio”.
Would you like your 301st goal to be against Donadoni, as a revenge for not calling you up for the European Cup?
“I don’t hold any grudge against anyone. I hope that goal number 301 is useful for Milan”.
They never nominate you for the Ballon D’Or: are you annoyed?
“I’m not, because I’m not bothered. My very own Ballon D’Or is the one in Siena. And the ones in Athens, Yokohama, Manchester”.
Speaking of titles, what would you like to say to those who remind you that you’ll have none at the end of this season?
“Hehe, the legendary Galliani said we’re not to reply to Mourinho. I’ll follow his line”.