Sandro Mazzola (Turin, 1942) attends AS from Sardinia. At 78 years old, he is delighted to remember that final of the European Cup between Inter and Real Madrid in 1964. And he puts all the facilities: “Shall we speak in Spanish or in Italian?”
How is it that you speak Spanish so well?
Since I was playing I liked Spain a lot. And I had Spanish colleagues, like Peiró or Luis Suárez, who helped me learn the language.
How do you see this new Inter-Madrid?
I do not know I do not like it…
(Serie). No, no … It will be a good game, for sure, although I don't see anything clear who can win. At one point I think that the favorite could be Inter, then I rethink it and I see Madrid better… I can't decide.
Inter is champion of Italy.
Of course that makes me happy, but when you enter the field thinking that you are the champion, things do not usually go well. The coach has to grab the players and tell them: “We are not champions. We work.”
The problem is that some important players like Achraf or Lukaku left …
It will be difficult, that's for sure. But Inter have the capacity to achieve things like what they did last year. Nowadays, the economy of the clubs is very important. If you don't have the right accounts, you have to sell. And there's no problem.
And how do you remember that final in 1964 in Vienna?
It was an amazing thing. When we were about to enter the field, we were both teams waiting in the tunnel. I saw Alfredo (Di Stéfano), who was my idol, the best in the world, ever. And my teammates began to enter the field, and I just stood there dumbfounded. And the last ones who came out had to wake me up: “Are you coming to play or do you go up on the platform to see Di Stéfano?” It was the greatest thing, the greatest thing in life.
But that day the best was you, you scored two goals.
He was already old and I was young (I was 21 at the time; Di Stéfano was on the verge of 38). And I just wanted to make him see that he was very good, for me it was important. He was my idol.
Are there no players like that anymore?
He played all over the field, he was fantastic. Now there are no footballers with that ability. Football has changed a bit, for the worse. We arrived an hour before training began and then it was a bit of a run, stretching, right, left … And after 20 minutes, to touch the ball. It was another world. Now they will work more physically, but they play football much less. And that in the end produces stronger players, but less quality footballers.
And what does Madrid say about the three Champions League in a row?
I really liked it. With players like those, like Modric, Cristiano, Ramos, Benzema… you can win whatever you want. Cristiano is one thing … I like him a lot. If I know he's going to play, I always watch the game. I am sorry that he left Italy. But football is football, also in that.
Which Real Madrid was better?
Like the Madrid of Di Stéfano, Puskas, Gento… there is nothing. It was amazing how they played. Sometimes they started the game in the trantran, touching the ball. Pim, pim, pim, pim… (He vocalizes as if giving unimportant passes). And at 20 minutes the captain, Alfredo, gave the warning, and there they began to play. Mamma mia! And goal, goal, goal… I loved it.