Antonio Conte has likened Croatian Marcelo Brozovic to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo after Inter Milan’s impressive Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund.
Brozovic has been an ever-present during Conte’s Inter reign to date, scoring twice in eight Serie A appearances.
The Croatia international’s playmaking skills were again to the fore during impressive wins over Sassoulo and Borussia Dortmund over the past week.
It meant Conte fielding a question at his pre-match news conference for Saturday’s meeting with Parma that mentioned the 26-year-old alongside the magisterial Pirlo – a comparison the former Juventus head coach was keen to defuse.
“Brozo can get better. He can get better with his passes to the attack, he can set up more goals,” he said.
“We are working on this. I think he needs to also work on his defensive game. A holding midfielder must be good in defence too. He can become world class.
“As for Pirlo, I do not want to make a comparison with Brozo. Pirlo is someone who is a genius. He made history in this game.
“Brozo has different traits, he is training well and I am pleased with him. I want him to become a world-class player.”
Back-to-back wins on the resumption from the latest international break have seen Inter bounce back impressively from the reverses to Barcelona and Juve at the start of this month.
That narrow loss in an absorbing game to Maurizio Sarri’s reigning champions at San Siro remains the difference in the Serie A table, with Inter a point shy of Juventus thanks to seven wins from eight matches.
“We have started on our journey, we need to focus on ourselves,” Conte replied when asked whether Inter’s unexpectedly close proximity to Juventus was bringing extra pressure.
“Inter cannot worry about the others, we need to look ahead.
“This is a new cycle for us. It is not easy. We are close to the league leaders. That is very satisfying, but let’s stay focused.
“Each game is a test of our ambitions. We need to give our all. That is the only way to get three points.”
Conte added: “We have started a new journey together. These things take time and patience.
“We are on the right track, let us continue this way. Then we will see where we are at the end of the season.
“As I have said, we always need to give 100 per cent. I want us to have no regrets come the final whistle.”
Marcelo Brozovic’s next 30 day fixtures.
- Parma (Home) 26/10/19
- Brescia (Away) 29/10/19
- Bologna (Away) 02/11/19
- Borussia Dortmund (Away) 05/11/19
- Hellas Verona (Home) 09/11/19
- Slovakia (Home) 16/11/19
- Torino (Away) 23/22/29