Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni has amusingly quipped that he would not go out to dinner with team-mate Nicolo Barella because of the midfielder’s expensive taste in wine.
The duo were at the heart of Inter’s Serie A title win last season, in which Antonio Conte’s men ended Juventus’ nine-year stranglehold on the Scudetto — which incidentally started with Conte as head coach in 2012 — bringing home the trophy after an 11-year absence.
Bastoni featured 33 times in the league last season as he continues to enhance his burgeoning reputation as an exceptionally-competent modern centre-back, with the 22-year-old a key component of the Nerazzurri‘s now-famed wing-back system.
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Alongside Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar, the defensive trident have imposed themselves on Serie A first under Conte and now under Simone Inzaghi, who also preferred a 3-5-2 during his time at Lazio, hence his seamless transition to the San Siro.
Barella meanwhile has emerged as one of the continent’s finest midfield playmakers, combining skill and on-field intelligence to unlock doors, set the tempo and transfix with a moment of inspiration and unpredictability, perhaps best exemplified by his flick-assist against Real Madrid last term.
The diminutive creator was also invaluable as Italy won Euro 2020 in the summer, forming a superb midfield trio with Marco Verratti and Jorginho, as well as Manuel Locatelli in the early stages of the competition, and starting in the final triumph over England at Wembley.
And it may appear as though Barella’s eye-catching displays on the pitch may also reflect his time away from the turf, with Bastoni anecdotally suggesting his midfield team-mate would not be his ideal dinner guest because of his preference for expensive wine.
When asked by Gli Autogol on their Twitch channel who Bastoni would take to dinner, he replied: “I won’t go with Barella, because he’d order wine worth €1,800 or something, so he can just stay in the room.
“Brozo is hard work to take out to dinner, more than anything hard work getting him home.
“So I’ll offer dinner to Milan Skriniar as thanks for all the effort he puts in defence.”