Scariolo, the interista friend of Lopetegui: "The final is at 50%"

They met more than 20 years ago in Madrid, when Lopetegui was a partner at restaurant A de Alba de Lorenzo Sanz. Scariolo will not be able to see the game in the Orlando bubble but warns: "Inter have grown a lot in the last month and a half."


It is public that Sergio Scariolo, Spanish basketball coach and Toronto Raptors assistant, is a hopeless interista. These days, while he lives the resumption of NBA competition in full swing, where the Raptors are aiming for another great participation in the playoffs, he has followed the trajectory of his Inter in the Europa League. Fate has wanted to cross him in the final with Sevilla. Curious wink of fate. This past February, the Spanish basketball team and Sevilla met in Cluj, Romania. The first one played a match corresponding to the Eurobasket classification; and Sevilla, the round of 32 of the Europa League. They met at the Grand Italia hotel in the Romanian city and improvised an act in which T-shirts were exchanged. Scariolo posed with a Sevilla shirt ..., which is now the great enemy of his Inter in the final.

As contacted Scariolo, in the Orlando bubble, to find out his impressions on the eve of the match. The first frustration for Scariolo is that he will not be able to watch the game. "I looked at the schedule and saw that it coincided with one of our playoff games ... Somehow I'll follow it."

Some ties link Scariolo with Sevilla. Some are very curious. Antonio Angulo, Sevilla's head of travel safety, has been the FEB's security man on the summer tours of the world champion in Spain for more than a decade. It is impossible for him not to try to inoculate him with the Sevilla virus ... But there is more. Scariolo has known Julen Lopetegui for more than 20 years. Julen was a partner in the restaurant A de Alba, in Madrid, owned by Lorenzo Sanz. "There is a feeling with him, he is doing a magnificent job." And above, that shirt given by Sevilla ...

But this Friday, Scariolo only wants Inter. And analyze the final. Although he denies it, his football knowledge is extensive. This is how he sees it: "I think the teams that have been better after the restart have reached the final. Sevilla have been very good all year and now they have eliminated important teams, we just have to see that they have left Roma out. or United ... Meanwhile, for me Inter has had a very good season. Finishing a point behind Juventus recovering many from last year has been very commendable. In addition, reaching the final of the Coppa came close to nothing. Now this is the final of the Europa League. It is an important step and also Inter looks good because the property is motivated to invest. There is a solid and young base to grow. The pair of forwards are really very, very, very reliable. Anyway, the feelings are good but one game ... against a team as good as Sevilla and well trained by Julen. Anything can happen. It really is 50-50 ... ".

The Italian explains where he has seen his team grow during the season: "I think Inter have improved a lot in defensive strength in the last month and a half. That has been an important step. Mentally I see him stronger, not losing games like those of Dortmund or Barça in the first part of the season who were well on their way. They have grown a lot in that regard. I am optimistic ".

And he regrets again ... "Unfortunately, the game coincides with our game and I won't be able to see it but hey, I'll connect in some way ...". A guy who has made a Moscow-Madrid-Moscow in less than 24 hours to see the final of the Inter-Bayern Champions League in 2010, has the means to do anything.

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