In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Samir Handanovic talks about the past, present and the future:
“If the race for the UCL is hopeless? No, everything is still at stake. The other teams are doing well, we only have to do better. Tomorrow we will get some answers”.
What will the verdict be after the game against Roma? “First of all, I hope to see a good game and I also hope the only thing we will be talking about after the game has to do with football. It’s a crucial game for us and a very important one for them. Roma is second and has still the title as their objective. It will be tough, they scored four times against Fiorentina, Villareal and Torino, but we are not an easy team to face”.
What has changed since Suning arrived? “We feel surrounded by strong people, people that wants to win and that wants to make history.”
And cash is no longer a problem… “The new management isn’t all about the money. It’s true that they want to invest a lot, but everything is finalised with a success that should go on for a while. Money yes, but with a precise objective.”
So do you think the wind has changed now after some tough years? “Yes, after five tough years my impression is that Inter is on the right path.”
In particular, what makes you feel so confident? “The way they approached Inter, how they presented themselves, how they talk and how they act. Everything they do has something concrete about it. Thety talk less and do more.”
Zhang Jindong? “He is a very charismatic person. And every time that he has talked to us in the locker room before a game, we have won that game”.
Tell us about Pioli? “Il Mister arrived with a lot of optimism. You could tell that he already knew a lot about each player’s characteristics. He was ready, maybe because he already knew he was coming to Inter. He was immediately synchronised with the team, and showed us what had gone wrong and what he expected from us. All of a sudden we started to think as one mind and that’s the main reason for how things have changed, reflected also on how we practice. We have been working a lot more and a lot more effective. He has charged us enormously and him being an Interista was decisive in transferring all that positive energy. Pioli is convinced of coaching a great team, a team that has done little so far compared to it’s potential.”
What if Pioli had arrived earlier? “Tough question (laughing), but maybe we would have some more points.”
The biggest disappointment as an Inter player? “Besides having won nothing yet, the feeling that we were beaten beforehand. I saw a lot of people being disappointed when we finished 4th or 5th, but in reality we couldn’t do better. The other teams were stronger than us.”
Have you ever regretted chosing Inter? “Never! A call from Inter is what every player dreams of. When I played in Udinese I saw this team who won the Scudetto and the UCL, at that point it was impossible to foresee what would happen. With that said, Inter is one of the 5-6 most prestigious clubs in the world and today the feeling is that we are at the beginning of something really important.”
Will you remain even though you don’t reach that third spot? “Yes! And we can still go directly to the UCL.”