Lucio: 'No doubts on derby winner'

Lucio: 'No doubts on derby winner'

Treble-winning Inter defender Lucio harked back to the Jose Mourinho days and made a bold prediction ahead of the Derby della Madonnina.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT,click here for a match preview.

“I played five derbies and won four of them,” smiled the Brazilian in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“That includes the 4-0 when Wesley Sneijder had just arrived and made the difference, Maicon and Thiago Motta were on target. It was an unusual result for a derby and a key match in that season.

“Looking back to the Treble campaign, I remember Mourinho. He had such a strong character and gave such a boost to my career. He’s the best coach I ever worked with.

“I remember the enthusiasm of the fans when we qualified for the Champions League Final, the hours before the game in Madrid, the final whistle and celebrating on the pitch with my son.

“Finally, President Massimo Moratti, a real gentleman, our biggest fan. His energy really did spread to the whole squad.”

Lucio left Inter in 2012 and moved to their rivals Juventus, but there too struggled under Antonio Conte, a man now in charge of the Nerazzurri.

“It was a mistake,” confessed the centre-back. “Andrea Stramaccioni was at Inter and kept saying he wanted me to stay, but at the same time every 10 minutes (director of sport Marco) Branca was calling and urging me to find another club.

“It wasn’t easy after all I’d done with Inter. There weren’t many offers and on the transfer deadline day, I had no other option, my agent told me to join Juve. It was a bad decision, though.

“Conte is a good coach, he called me in because Leonardo Bonucci was at risk of a lengthy ban, but when that didn’t happen, I had no playing time. Naturally, I never felt that affection towards Juve that I did with Inter.

“I have nothing against Conte and I’m glad that finally Inter are challenging Juve for the Scudetto again.”

Lucio is impressed with the current Nerazzurri squad and feels the derby is a foregone conclusion.

“Inter will win 3-1, I have no doubts. Romelu Lukaku is the perfect Number 9 for Inter, as he has the physicality to batter down defences.”

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