'Zanetti was my idol' - Inter's Obi

The Nigerian midfielder has voiced his admiration for the Nerazzurri captain as well as Dejan Stankovic, and expressed his desire to keep on developing as a footballer
Inter youngster Joel Obi has taken time to praise team-mates Javier Zanetti and Dejan Stankovic, and has confessed that the Argentine was his idol when he came to Italy.

The 20-year-old Obi joined the Inter academy in 2005, and has developed into a first-team regular for the Nerazzurri this term.

"When I came to Italy, one of the first things I did was get myself a Zanetti shirt. Zanetti was my idol," Obi was quoted as saying on the official Inter website.

"Not long after that I bought a Stankovic jersey. Those players seemed untouchable at the time and along with Okocha, a legend in Nigeria, they were my idols. And to think that I train with them everyday now."

The youngster then went on to reveal how his two heroes as well as the rest of the squad have been helping him improve as a footballer.

"They guide me and give me advice. All my team-mates do, on and off the pitch. I get so much help from them," Obi said.

"I'm working hard so that I can become a real player. There's a long way to go yet but l always try to give the best of myself."

Obi has made 26 Serie A appearances for Inter in 2011-12.