might be Deadpool
La Grande Inter
- Mar 28, 2011
- Favorite Player
- Bea Arthur
10 years of FIF
Most Diverse Poster
Well, such players don't grow on trees.
Il capitano has spoken
Inter legend Javier Zanetti hopes they will be back in the Champions League Final soon, noting Simone Inzaghi and Lautaro Martinez bring a sense of ‘stability’ to the project, something Romelu Lukaku did not.
The Nerazzurri had not been up for the trophy since winning the Treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010, but gave Manchester City a very tough game in Istanbul, decided only by a single goal.
They have started the new season strong too, winning all three Serie A matches and sitting joint top of the table with rivals Milan.
“We are happy, because although strong players have left that we will always thank, we brought in new players who are eager to get things done and do important things at this club,” the vice-president told Spanish newspaper Marca.
“Our start to this season shows that Inter are still a competitive team. It will be difficult to get back into the Champions League, but we are certainly eager to try our best. Anything is possible in football, but first let us get through the group and then we’ll see.
“The most important thing is that Inter have regained that respect and are considered competitive. Repeating the Final is always tough, but we can certainly try.”
Although he was criticised for much of last term, Inzaghi retained the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, reaching the Champions League Final to earn a new contract.
“This means stability and confirms that Inzaghi is doing a great job. He showed great calm and character to continue having faith in what he was doing and we rewarded that with the new contract he deserves.”
Lautaro Martinez is also becoming increasingly embedded in the Inter culture and was named captain after the departure of Marcelo Brozovic and Samir Handanovic.
“I went to find Lautaro and so it makes me very happy to see him become captain of Inter, feeling his identity so wrapped up in the club. Lautaro represents everything that a club like Inter means. He is a striker who improves year on year and I hope his future will bring us many more important moments,” noted Zanetti.
“I believe when you are in a big club like Inter, it’s natural you have great players and equally natural that other big clubs want to sign them. But there are many factors that can push a player to decide if he stays or goes. I too had opportunities to go elsewhere in my playing career, but I thought about how I felt at Inter and the values of the people here.”
It seems that was not a thought process taken on by Lukaku, who shocked Inter by engaging in talks with their arch rivals Juventus, eventually joining Roma on loan from Chelsea.
“We wanted Lukaku to stay with us, but then things happened that we weren’t expecting and we decided to leave the negotiations. Lukaku is part of our past now and as a club we must look to the future.”
Javier Zanetti sees echoes of his own career experience in the way Lautaro Martinez has become a ‘leader, his sense of belong and his love for Inter.’
The striker is following in the vice-president’s footsteps by wearing the captain’s armband and potentially even spend the rest of his career with the Nerazzurri.
Zanetti spoke to reporters at an event to launch a new book on the bond between football in Italy and Argentina, so was asked who could follow him being the symbol of Inter.
“We already found him in the captain, Lautaro. I am very happy, not just because he is from Argentina, but when we signed him, we already saw glimpses of what he is now showing to the world.
“In these five years, Lauti has improved so much, and you can see how much of a leader he is, his sense of belonging and his love for Inter.
“I won’t lie, I see in him how I felt at the start of my career at Inter. We each all have our own personalities and our own journeys. I had a fantastic experience at Inter and I hope Lauti can do the same.”
The centre-forward is under contract until June 2026, but already beginning talks through his agent for an extension that can lock down his future at San Siro.
“We are a very united squad off the field too, everyone gives their own contribution, focusing on what is best for Inter. Lauti is a very important part of the Inter present and when the time comes to sit down and discuss it, I think we’ll have everything needed to continue together.”
Zanetti lifted the Champions League in 2010 as captain of that historic Treble-winning squad and reveals just how emotional he felt when the clock was ticking down in Madrid.
“I cried before the Final was even over. I only stopped when Samuel Eto’o told me there were three minutes left and I needed to shake out of it, but at that moment I did get swept up. I was just too happy to give the fans something they waited 45 years for, and the honour of being captain bringing that trophy back to Milan.
“That night, in an historic venue like the Bernabeu, was my 700th appearance for Inter. It was an unforgettable night, something that will always remain with us. If you look at the photograph of me lifting the trophy, I don’t even look like me. My mind was racing back through all those moments, all those years defending this jersey.”