Militonian Ellipses – Diego Milito Comes of Age

It’s a question on maturity, of experience… My career has built up gradually. That’s why I can say now that i’m in more or less the best form of my life. I don’t know if it’s the best, cause last year at Genoa was extraordinary [24 goals in 31 games, che]. Of course that didn’t get so much attention because I didn’t achieve the same level of success as this year or because that club wasn’t as big as Inter…

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Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise

To scorn delights and live laborious days – John Mil(i)ton

Nice interview in Olé today with Diego Milito, a guy it would be an exaggeration to say pegamequemegusta, while having a lot of time for him, knows inside out. Sure we know the story of his career and its beginnings with our beloved Racing, his consistently banging in a goal a game for 10 years now whether at Genoa, Zaragoza or Inter, but to be honest we’ve never heard him talk.

It turns out he’s a decent enough old chinwagger. He has some interesting things to say about his record in la Selección, that Barca-Inter game, Mourinho and whether he is compatible with his illustrious strike partners in the Argentina squad. Strangely enough, though, there are no questions about his brother Gaby, one of the many guys left out of Maradona’s squad despite being at a big club and being well-regarded.

The interview was conducted by Hernán Claus and Carlos Carpaneto of Olé. You can read the original here. The translation, as always, is ours. It’s good-natured yet probing. Nonetheless, pegamequemegusta has never in its short painful life seen as many ellipses as in this piece. Could they be a metaphor for Diego Milito’s stop-start, intermittent international career? Read on to find out…

  • The World Cup is nearly upon us but people are still talking about how Inter played in the Nou Camp…
  • The criticism was unfair in my opinion as a lot of it had very little to back it up. It was a two-legged tie against the best team in the world and yet people only talk about one of the games, where we already had a two-goal lead. Pandev got injured in the warm-up so we had to change our formation; and on top of that we were a man down after 20 minutes… Those who saw Inter play all season know that we always went out to win every game – they know it was unfair criticism.
  • When did you feel you were going to the World Cup?
  • Honestly, when the list came out. You never know what’ll happen, whether you’re in or out…
  • But having such a great season didn’t give you reason for feeling confident?
  • Yeah, I was plenty confident but it always depends on what the manager wants, what he thinks right at that particular moment… that’s why I couldn’t be certain until the final list came out.
  • Did you prove Diego right or was it the other way around?
  • Haha, a bit of both. I think I did my part playing well for my club and then he obviously did his by putting his trust in me. There were a lot of strikers to choose from.
  • How come your best run of form has come when you’re nearly 31?
  • It’s a question of maturity, of experience… My career has built up gradually. That’s why I can say now that i’m in more or less the best form of my life. I don’t know if it’s the best, cause last year at Genoa was extraordinary [24 goals in 31 games, che]. Of course that didn’t get so much attention because I didn’t achieve the same level of success as this year or because that club wasn’t as big as Inter…
  • But it looks like this was the best year, no? For the first time you won loads and it was your first season in one of Europe’s biggest clubs. You replaced Ibrahimovic, you went pound for pound with Eto’o…
  • Yeah that’s what winning things is all about, taking over from world-famous players, and things really couldn’t have gone any better. Then you’ve got the good work I put in myself, the confidence the manager gives me…
  • Did you learn much from Mourinho?
  • You always learn something from every manager… Mourinho helped me a lot, made me more confident above anything else… As regards my style it’s not much changed from last year. What Mourinho does is he always keeps you on your toes, I mean he never lets you slack off and he always wants to keep on winning.
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  • Is Maradona like Mourinho at all?
  • They’re both winners and have strong personalities, like all managers at this level.
  • Can you and Higuaín play together? On Olé‘s website the readers voted for you and el Pipita to play up front alongside Messi…
  • I reckon so, yeah, we’d have no problem playing with each other. Or with Carlitos, el Kun or Martín for that matter…. I can play with any of the strikers in the squad. Grand, this season at Inter I was the target man more or less, but during my career i’ve also played in a deeper role. Learning to play with other players is part of the job.
  • With Higuaín, then, how would you complement each other?
  • We’re both basically similar enough in many ways but quite different at the same time. We both move right along the line of attack, from one side to the other. Maybe i’m more of an in-the-box striker and he can make the difference outside.
  • Maradona said it would be tough to leave out Carlitos… What about leaving out Milito?
  • That’s more of a question for the manager, really. Frankly, i’m here to do my job… Obviously we all want to play and i’m going to fight for my place.

  • Do you feel that only now, after this great year with Inter and your goals in the Champion’s League final, you’re being recognised as a great player in Argentina?
  • Well that’s normal, you know, especially after winning those titles, for having scored two goals in a match everyone saw… I accept how it is and it doesn’t bother me…
  • How do you imagine your birthday will be this year, the 12th of June, the very day Argentina play Nigeria?
  • The 12th of June? Well… I can see myself celebrating Argentina’s victory. That would be the best present, yeah, without a doubt.
  • Even better if you’re playing…
  • Obviously you dream about playing, but all 23 of us want that. And what eleven actually take the field is Diego’s decision. It’s not a cliché: the important thing is that we win.
  • Why do you think you haven’t had a good run of games in the team so far?
  • It’s a tough question to answer; I don’t know what to tell you… It might be a question of taste, that the different managers have just preferred other players. That’s the way it is; I don’t get too caught up in it. And I know it’s hard being the manager of Argentina as there are a lot of great forwards – in our case, the best in Europe…
  • Many people might think you’ve had a lot of chances when, in truth, since 2006 you’ve only started 5 out of the 13 games you played in, and none of those were one after another…
  • The stats tell you I haven’t played many games in a row but i’m also very self-critical and there have been chances for important goals in games, even when i’ve only had 10 or 15 minutes. Anyway, now i’m just thinking of the future…
  • Might one of those important goals have been in the match against Brazil in Rosario?
  • That miss still gets to me, but in the same way as every other chance i’ve ever missed, and not just ’cause it was against Brazil. Well, maybe, yeah, it would’ve been an important goal for me and for the team… But besides being pissed off about it I try to stay cool as even this year in Italy, for example, i’ve missed two million chances… Us strikers miss chances…
  • But you score them, too. Could Milito work a Palermo-like miracle?
  • Hahaha, Ojalá. Let’s hope so. Let’s hope I can work one, too.

Yeah, a lovely guy, Milito, i’m sure you’ll agree. I’m sure if the irascible Ignacio Fusco had done the interview he would’ve repeatedly badgered him about why he and Samuel were called up and not Cambiasso or Zanetti. Pegamequemegusta doesn’t know why that is either, though, as temperamentally he seems quite similar.

Anyway, he’d start for us but but would he make your starting eleven?

One thought on “Militonian Ellipses – Diego Milito Comes of Age”

  1. Thanks for the translation ! Indeed, Milito sounds like a heck of a nice, and normal, guy. No wonder he ends up playing second fiddle !

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