Success in Napoles and part of a historic Leicester City – Gökhan Inler
16 de março de 2014
The sensation of the European season is the spectacular Leicester campaign in the Premier League. The club has silenced all critics and surprising even the most optimistic of the supports. We talked to one of the members of this amazing team, the swiss Gohkan Inler. The player was already known since the time it was one of the featured players of Napoli on Serie A, in addition to playing for Switzerland and participated in the World Cup here in Brazil.


1. Here in Brazil, everybody has been talking about Leicester’s campaign. New supporters appears daily, feeding the fanpages around the world. In England, how does the city react with this unexpected productivity? Do you feel the supporters closer?

People here are talking a lot about Leicester City. Sports discussions used to be monopolized by rugby. But now, everything is only about football. Generally, everyone is euphoric, fans are really happy and they still can’t believe how far we’ve reached in a short period of time. Normally, the support given by Leicester City’s fans is amazing. They seem to be plugged for 90 minutes. Without doubts, they are the 12th player of us. We have a big harmony and I love it.

2. You arrived on Leicester after great seasons playing in Italy. When the Leicester’s interest came? What kind of objectives were proposed? Did you believe that the project could reach many results as it has been reaching now?

I heard about Leicester City’s interest during the european summer of 2015, when I was in pre-season with SSC Napoli, getting ready for the next season. I enjoyed a lot the offer and the club’s concept of the future. The trust they gave me, because of my experience as a player, ended up closing a puzzle in a long-term plan. The president and the director of football had a huge job to carry the club’s project on, aswell to have me onboard. There is a great quantity of optmism,and everyone, including the supporters, works without break, and in a highly profissional way. In the beggining, we were looking at that 40 point mark, so we could avoid relegation as quickly as possible. When the good results started to show up regularly, the positive atmospheric started to become even more positive. It’s possible to realize the teamspirit carrying us all during the season.

3. We already seen many speculations about Foxes athletes, even before the transfer window being opened. Do you think the squad will lose important players when the season ends, or the club will hold the present athletes for the UEFA Champions League and also the other competitions?
Success is part of the contribution of each player and I cannot see the club disposing of some players for their own benefit. If we really play in a European competition next season, either the Champions League or Europa League, then surely we will need each team player, available and focused for this challenge.

Inler was captain of his country in World Cup 2014.

4.  How do you see the potential of Switzerland national league and team? We recently interviewed Barnetta about that, and he believes the country must focus in a good center for the young players on their starters. Do you agree with that for the improvement of the Swiss Super League?

The Swiss National League has envolved enough along the years and it is in a good way, thinking about the future. However, still it has to get some improvements. We have come a long way in the last twenty years, and the Swiss Football Association (SFV) is also doing its best to improve the general quality. This is also evidenced in the Swiss Super League (first division) or Challenge League (second division), where teams regularly promote young Swiss talent in their first teams, allowing them to grow and continue to develop their skills. But this also applies to young people abroad, as François Moubandje in Toulouse. But to be honest, I really cannot say much about the Swiss League, because I have not played there for at least nearly nine years. Much has changed, but from what I gather, the art-football has improved. FC Basel has remained at the top with regularity and is playing at a good level, but the other teams are recovering and also showing their value. Overall, there is a sense of a well done and lasting job, and proof of that is the output of young Swiss talented players to other major centers such as Breel Embolo. For a country of the Switzerland size, it is quite remarkable.

5. Like we mentioned before, you had great moments at the Italian League. What´s the main difference between the english football and the italian one? Is the game style so different?
Well, the Italian football is dominated by tactical system, it’s like a chess-on-grass. You throw the ball back and wait for the decisive moment to break the defense of the opposing team. Patience is the key. The Premier League, however, has a much higher rate, which requires more physically of the players. You get to see more crossings yet. It’s quick. Referees tend not to stop the game when faced with close situations. They do not give a foul as often as in Italy.
6. While your team being a Premier League title candidate, your former italian team is also competing, point by point the Scudetto. What you feel about Napoli? Are you following the Calcio and supporting the azzurra?
After four years playing for Napoli, you cannot deny that you still have a connection at the club. The city, the club and the supports have given me so much over time that I lived and played there. I try to follow many football leagues across Europe, and Italy’s Serie A is included. I am very happy for the current Napoli success. Sometimes, when time permits, I also watch a game of Napoli on television.

When he can, see the Napoli matches to support your former club.

7. Many people have assigned the astonishing Leicester’s season so far to the coach’s job. How have been the relationship between the group and Claudio Ranieri? Have you accepted for not playing in all matches, even being a consolidated footballer in the european scenery?
The “Mister” (coach) is doing a great job and it’s not so simple for someone who has just taken a new club. But he’s a very nice person, and succeeded to bring players who helped improve our general quality, and that has only add to the great team spirit that was already here before. Personally, although I do not always play, I keep working hard and doing my best to help the team in the locker room or during training. When the team is doing so well as it is going now, you have to accept the situation with the coach does not have the need to change things on the team. I see myself as a part of our puzzle and I’m always there for whatever you need. I’m ready to be called if the coach needs me on the field.

Even in the bench, always ready to help de team

8. How can you measure your knowledge about our Brazilian football? We know that the international press don’t usually notify things about our League, making it hard to follow it. But there is a special football brazilian team which you know about?

Well, sometimes I watch some Brazilian Premiere Division highlights on TV and there is always a livescore in my cellphone too. I think it is a great league, with high-level and technically excellent. I could mention some great teams I remember, like Fluminense, São Paulo and Corinthians. These are football clubs that I know. I started to have contact with brazilian football some time ago, especially thanks to ex-partners, at the time that I played in Italy. I am Alexandre Pato’s friend. I keep regular contact with Pablo Armero. But, most of all, I had one good impression of brazilian football during 2014 FIFA World Cup. I will never forget that feeling, the happiness in brazilian supports. In particular, the support they give to us with Switzerland national team, during the round of quarter-final against Argentina in São Paulo.

9. Still as a 31 old years player, there are many things incoming in your career. Although, have you planned a retirement? Maybe becoming a coach, manager, or anything into the football world?
I can’t imagine retiring myself in a next future. There is still a long path ahead. I take care of myself and I’m in a great shape and simply I have the pleasure to play football. Whatever happens, when I retire, I’d like to stay loyal to football. But, I just don’t know yet which way exactly I’d like to go.

10. We are delighted doing this interview! Would you like to leave any message for your fans and for those who are supporting Leicester here in Brazil?

I would like to extend my greetings to all the Leicester supports everywhere, and who appreciate see me playing and follow me over the years. Keep supporting us so our team can advance more. Everything is going very well here, the positive energy is contagious and the whole team is giving 110% every day. This and the relationship with the supports can make each player to work even more. And for a team where everyone has the same purpose, that’s amazing.

Translate by Lucas Yukie and Lucas Vasconcelos. 
Postado por Renan Castro 23 anos, administrador, torcedor do Flamengo, natural de Nova Iguaçu - RJ, fã de aviação e dono de três quadros: Vestindo o Futebol, Ícones Alternativos e Memória FC.