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Exclusive interview with Francesco Coco

Itís been just over a month since Francesco Coco joined Futbol Club Barcelona. Coco however is already aware of how big the club is. An ever present during the last two matches the Italian spoke in glowing terms about the weather and lifetsyle in his new city and of his continual rollercoaster in and out of the team existence at his previous club Milan. The Italian international is hopeful of making his move here permanent. The interview, exclusive to Canal Barca and fcbarcelona.com, can be read in full by clicking on the link below. The interview will be screened at 8pm this evening (Monday) on Barcaís very own TV station, Canal Barca.

Do you think yesterdayís match was your best display for Barca?

I am happy because itís the third match I have started and the importamt thing for me is to play as many games as possible and as many minutes as possible and get used to the way my teammates play. I think that things are going well for me and the team and hope that on Wednesday we can win against Bayer Leverkusen. This is very important.

Has it been easier than you expected to get into the first team?

Itís difficult to get into the first team at a club like Barcelona but having been a first team regular at Milan I am used to it. Thereís no doubt that all the players here are top quality and I have always been aware of how difficult it was going to be.

At the moment you are playing as a wide midfielder but up to now have also played in a number of different positions. Is being able to play a number of different roles the best way to keep your place in the team?

I can play on the left, the right or further back, but prefer to play out wide on the left like I did tonight. However, if the coach needs to play me in other positions he can do so. The truth is Iím naturally right sided, both with my hands and my feet, but itís now been playing on the left for 10 years and its seems to suit me better.

So, what do you think will happen when Sergi recovers from injury?

I donít know. All Iím thinking about at the moment is playing well. He is a very good player and has shown his worth for many years but we will see what happens. I donít think it will be a problem and it will be down to the manager to decide.

When Zaccheroni asked about your situation did you think you would be making a hasty return to calcio?

During my first 20 days here and the five matches that took place I didnít play very much. This is why Zaccheroni called me about joining him at Lazio but i was already quite sure that i would stay here. For this reason I never really considered joining the ranks of another big club even though the man in charge is a coach that helped me a great deal. My future is always open but if I get on well here, I have no intention of leaving.

Last year you played at the Nou Camp for Milan, you scored a great goal and set up another. Was this the reason behind your decision to come to Barca?

For many players itís a dream to play for Barcelona, just as it is a dream to play for Milan, Juve or Real Madrid, some of the biggest clubs in the world. That day I played a good match, scored a goal and set one up. To be able to play here now is incredible.

Are there many differences between Italian and Spanish football?

The main difference is that calcio is much more physical and you run more, whilst here the game is much more technical and you play with the ball more. There arenít too many differences and football over here is just as tough. With regards training itís a bit lighter over here because as i said before there is less reliance on the physical side.

Taking into account all of these factors how do you think Pep Guardiola will get on at Brescia?

To begin with he will encounter the usual difficulties any technically gifted player faces as the football is much quicker and quite different. But great players like him, within time, always play well especially if you have the likes of Roberto Baggio playing alongside you. They can both do great things.

Nonetheless is it not true that your football idol is Paolo Maldini...

Of course. Itís normal as he plays in my position and I learnt my trade at Milan with both him and Franco Baresi. Both were idols of mine and I learnt a great deal from them both.

One final question. What is it you most like about Barcelona that is different to Milan?

The climate is great, the beach is very close. I think that living in Barcelona is better than Milan because Milan was very industrial and life there is very fast, whilst here itís much more tranquil. People believe that it is quite similar in many ways but the surprising thing for me here was seeing the streets full of people at all hours. Itís a very vibrant city.

 
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