Sport Soccer

Saturday 22 October 2016

Inler wants to pack a punch

Published 21/08/2015 | 22:38

Gokhan Inler signed a three-year deal with Leicester after joining from Napoli.
Gokhan Inler signed a three-year deal with Leicester after joining from Napoli.

Gokhan Inler wants to be a hit in England as he plans to knock out Leicester's rivals.

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The midfielder is aiming to bring the skills he learnt in the boxing ring to the Barclays Premier League.

Inler is set for his Foxes debut against Tottenham on Saturday after arriving from Napoli on a three-year deal this week.

While in Naples the 31-year-old sparred with 1980 Olympic champion Patrizio Oliva after the boxer called his agency to offer extra training following Inler's admission he liked the sport.

And the modest, likeable, Inler believes his extra training will help him succeed in England.

He said: "I did it to change a little bit, boxing is good for the body. The first time when I boxed I used my energy without control and Patrizio said 'why do you box like that?

"I never managed to hit him but he could hit me easily.

"The Premier League is a physical league, for sure, but when you play fast you they don't hit you. I like physical games.

"Italian football is very tactical but the Premier League is one of the best leagues, very fast.

"They fight and the referees sometimes don't whistle. In Italy they whistle all the time, maybe I like that about here."

The former Udinese man also captained Switzerland in their shock win over world champions Spain 1-0 in last year's World Cup.

Inler has watched the Foxes' opening two games, including last week's 2-1 win at West Ham, as sees the same qualities as his national team.

"You know Spain are strong but we knew with one shot we could win. It was one of the best, emotional, games of my career and this team can also grow up," said Inler, who is likely to be joined in the squad by Christian Fuchs after he shrugs off illness.

"Here, at West Ham, the team were struggling but they didn't give up and that's the spirit they can have. This is a club who want to make something in the future."

Press Association

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