When I saw how snippets of it had been taken out of context elsewhere (as is usually the case with such interviews), with even the title of the original interview suggesting that the young wing back was angling for an immediate move to AC Milan, I decided to do a translation of the full interview for you delectation and publish the full transcript on here so you can judge for yourselves.
In the interview, he gives a very positive message of how he’s raring to go for the new season, how happy and well supported he feels by his colleagues and the fans on Tyneside, how he’s now overcoming his language problems and adapting well to the different style of the Premiership, how he’s glad Newcastle united said “no” to Roma and much more.
The interview was held by Calcio Mercato’s Simone Togna, and like the last Santon Calcio Mercato interview I translated on here, many of the questions seem to be designed with the intent of making him say he wants to come back and play for an Italian team, which is understandable I suppose on an Italian site. However, he also revealed that he is now engaged to an English girl, which could indeed be an important factor in keeping him on Tyneside. After all, I’m sure that she would be very reluctant to give up the delights of Metro Centre and the glorious Tyneside weather for somewhere like Milan with all it’s shoddy clothes shops and second rate restaurants!
Anyway, without further ado!
Santon to Calcio Mercato: Never again to Inter. AC Milan? It would be beautiful.
Simone Togna: “Firstly, how are you physically?”
Davide Santon: “I’m really good. I recovered from a knee injury and now I’m facing the preparation with Newcastle at my best.”
Simone Togna: “Do you feel perfectly integrated in the team now?”
Davide Santon: “Absolutely, yes. I am fine with everyone from my colleagues in the team to the fans, and now that I understand what the coach wants from me I’m ready to play a great season.”
Simone Togna: “But have you had any difficulties? Perhaps with his (Pardew’s) English?”
Davide Santon: “Yes, in the beginning I did have some problems with the English, understanding what Pardew wanted from me and also the style of the Premier League, but that’s all in the past now.”
Simone Togna: “This year, where do you want to go?”
Davide Santon: “I think we can safely fight for a place in the Champions League. It’s hard, but we can do it.”
Simone Togna: “What is the difference with the Italian league?”
Davide Santon: “The Italian league is more tactical, more physical than the English league, and there is also much more space to play. It’s another reason why I am fine here across the Channel. Here (in England) more of the fans will the fans will support you always, even if you lose three / four straight games, they will continue to cheer for you, without whistling and complaining at the first difficulty.”
Simone Togna: “Which colleagues do you get along with the best?”
Davide Santon: “I get along with them all honestly. If I speak Italian I do so with Captain Coloccini (an ex AC Milan player of Italian heritage of course with a name like “Coloccini”). But we are all really united and close. There are no problems between us, and I think we see that on the pitch.”
Simone Togna: “Why do you young Italians phenomenons like yourself, Verratti, Balotelli, etc emigrate abroad?”
Davide Santon: “Simple: because in Italy you do not bet on young people.”
Simone Togna: “Is this the reason why you left Inter?”
Davide Santon: “I left because I had not played away from Inter. I needed my space to grow and prove my worth. I also had some problems with the Nerazzurri, beginning with (Rafael) Benitez in particular who did not see me. For this reason I left, and now I’m delighted to be able to defend in the shirt of Newcastle. If I were the owner I’d probably still in Milan, but since I was not playing, I decided to change the air to show my worth.”
Simone Togna: “But you miss the Premier League? Or do you miss Italy?”
Davide Santon: “The only thing I miss is the food of Italy (What’s wrong with ham and pease pudding stotties like, Davide?). For the rest I do not miss anything much. Since I started playing Pardew has continued to select me for games here, and I am appreciated by all. Despite being young I feel the confidence of all toward me. Then I found love here, and got engaged to an English girl who loves me for myself and is not looking for fame.”
Simone Togna: “The Inter fans are always very fond of you and miss you, Would you ever go back?
Davide Santon: “I can only thank the Inter fans who are always with me because they were really beautiful, but I do not think of ever returning to Inter.”
Simone Togna: “Do you still hear from the Inter players?”
Davide Santon: “Obi (young Inter midfileder, Joel Obi). We exchange a few short message from time to time. With the others I have pretty much lost contact.”
Simone Togna: “What has Mourinho given you more than the other coaches?”
Davide Santon: “Firstly, I should say that I can only thank him because he was the first to give me confidence and focus on me. He knew how to get me fired up, to use the right words at the right moment. It caused me to feel like never before and transmitted a winning mentality to me.”
Simone Togna: “With Mourinho you marked and defused Cristiano Ronaldo…”
Davide Santon: “Yes, it was the perfect match. Even today people stop me on the street and congratulate me for that match. Against Manchester United ended 0-0, but I really played a big match and I’m proud to be able to limit one of the strongest players in the world.”
Simone Togna: “Mourinho called you a phenomenal youngster, Lippi called you a predestined one (when he also compared Santon with a young Paolo Maldini). What is your dream career?
Davide Santon: “Winning the World Cup with Italy, as well as some great victory with my club.”
Simone Togna: “Who’s the best player you’ve played?”
Davide Santon: “Luis Figo, a real phenomenon.”
Simone Togna: “What do you think of (Sulley) Muntari and Lucio (ex Inter and Juventus players respectively), who went to Milan and angered Inter and Juve fans?”
Davide Santon: “After all they have won and lived through together for Inter, they could have avoided certain phrases, but if they felt the need to utter them, they had their reasons…”
Simone Togna: “You would never go to Milan?”
Davide Santon: “Well, as a child I was a fan of Milan, so it would certainly be beautiful to wear the shirt of the team I supported as a child. But after playing for Inter it would be a choice which I should perhaps reflect on.”
Simone Togna: “According to Radiomercato you are being followed by Rome.”
Davide Santon: “Yes, it is true. The Giallorossi (Yellow and Reds) spoke with the leaders of Newcastle, but the British have explained how I was not for sale. And I’m glad they did it.”
Simone Togna: “You are the captain the (Italy) Under 21 side, you are very strong, where you can get?”
Davide Santon: “Firstly I’m sorry about the departure of Ciro Ferrara (the ex Italy 21 coach), who will do very well at Sampdoria. But we have a very strong national side, of course we aim to win the European Championship.”
Simone Togna: “Who is strongest player of the light blues (Italy)?”
Davide Santon: “I think we really have a good squad and we are all strong, but if I should give you a name I would say Mattia Destro (young striker just signed by Roma from Siena) who will do well at Roma or Juve. But the important thing is that wherever I go, they do play and not stay on the bench, because he is very strong and trustworthy.”
Simone Togna: “But soon you want to regain a place in the full national team I guess…”
Davide Santon: “Absolutely, yes. I tell you I would have expected to be present in the selection of the National Pre Europeans. I’m not saying that I had to finish in the final 23, but I thought at least the final 30. But I have no problem with Prandelli, I will do my best to get new confidence in the hope of returning as soon as possible to defend the colours of the national team. I know it depends only on me, then I will do my best to play in the Confederations Cup next year and especially the World Cup in Brazil in two years.”
Davide Santon: “Did you expect the European Championships to go so handsomely for the Blues (Italy)?”
Davide Santon: “Seeing the game expressed by the team, I hoped they could go far. Too bad for the final, but congratulations to the Blues.”
And that was that for the interview.