Cedric Soares told Football Italia Chief Correspondent Richard Hall about his surprise move to Inter, playing at San Siro and why Serie A requires players to be “smart.”

The move was completed on January 26, leaving Southampton on loan with an option to buy in order to see out the campaign with the Nerazzurri. So far, he has made eight competitive appearances with one assist.

This transfer seemed to come about very quickly. Can you tell me how it came about and what your first thoughts were when you heard Inter were interested?

Everything was actually really quick. There were a few possibilities for me to move in January and Inter was literally showing interest on signing me. I know that they were following my steps for long time so also for me was an easy decision because Inter is an incredible club.

Back in Portugal growing up, what were your first memories of Inter as a club? Which players do you remember fondly?

I remember that Inter was one of my favourite teams outside of Portugal. It was one of those dream teams that every kid thinks about. So I remember definitely Ronaldo, Javier Zanetti etc. 

What was your first impression of San Siro? What is the atmosphere like on comparison to Southampton and Sporting?

It’s very different of course. Every stadium has like a different vibe and a different atmosphere. The fans make San Siro feel really special with all the intense support and passion. It is a huge stadium what deserves a lot of respect, but in same time you need to be able to enjoy it. Because if you enjoy playing in San Siro, it becomes even greater. 

Which players in the dressing room have made you feel welcome? Joao Mario would have been a familiar face from the national team and Sporting.

So many. Everyone has been very kind to me . Of course is still the beginning, but they welcome me in a very nice way, basically they make me feel part of the team that becomes like a second family. Joao is definitely an incredible player and a fantastic human being. I know him for a very long time and is great to be playing next to him again. 

What are the main differences you have found in Italian football since arriving? Do you find the game more tactical here?

It’s more tactical and maybe more smart. It means sometimes less velocity going forward and backwards regarding both teams but much more organisation inside the pitch. 

Tell me about your teammates, who has impressed you since you joined? Also who are the characters in the dressing room? 

To be fair every player has a lot of quality. The training becomes much more technical as well. Didn’t want to say only one player because I think we have a great team and we are strong in every position. 

The fans are already seeing your qualities, but what would you say are the best aspects of your game?

Is always difficult to analyse myself but I think I’m quite intense and quite like to go up and down. Defend well and support the attack very often. Defensive I try to be aggressive and smart and offensive always look for a good cross or for a dynamic game. 

It looks like Inter are on course for the Champions League spots this season, but do you think you can challenge Juventus next term?

To be fair I think it should always be a goal of the club in every season. Also a goal in every player’s head. After all we are talking about Inter which is a very big club and always should fight for the biggest goals. 

Did you talk to Cristiano Ronaldo about coming to Italy? I bet you looking forward to facing him soon.

I didn’t talk about Italy with him yet, but he is definitely a good friend of mine. As player he is incredible and he keeps proving it over and over again, but inside the pitch every player fights for their team what is normal. 

Finally, what do you like about the city of Milan? How do you relax?

There is so much to do. It’s a beautiful city. I usual go out for dinner and quite enjoy a coffee during the afternoon in the centre. The people in Milano are also very kind and make me always feel home.

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