Lukas Podolski made his debut in the midweek Serie A clash away at the Juventus Stadium against the Bianconeri but was was officially presented as an Inter player earlier todat at Appiano Gentile. Podolski was presented by coach Roberto Mancini who said; “he will do great at Inter, he is a champion”. SempreInter.com were present and give you the entire Lukas Podolski presentation in English.
Welcome to Inter. What did you feel when putting on the Inter jersey and how did the first days go?
“The welcome I received was something I’ve never seen anywhere else in the world, it was unique. I was not expecting so many fans to be at the airport. I am very proud of that. When I saw the 11 shirt with the legendary Inter badge and my name on the back, it was an amazing feeling; It was also great to make my debut against Juventus. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
You have played in great leagues such as the Bundesliga and the Premier League, can you tell us how the serie A is looked upon? Does Inter still have the appeal as one of the big clubs?
“Inter is of course viewed as one of the top ten clubs in the world, the club has great wins behind it. It was just a few years ago they won the treble. The serie A is one of the top leagues, the Bundesliga and the Premier League have caught up and they are ahead but serie A still has great teams. Inter is a great club and I want to help the team get back into the Champions League.”
Is a return to the Champions League possible this season? “Now that the phase of my arrival is done I can focus solely on football. When we do that we will be able to reach the goal of coming back to the Champions League. The coach wants it, we want it, we need to catch up with the teams ahead and start winning games. But we can do it.”
What did you think when you saw what happened between Osvaldo and Icardi? “I noticed it of course, these things happen. For me it is not a problem, the media have blown it out of proportion. I don’t know what happened in the locker room, I was saluting the Juve players at that time. The coach needs to decide on how to go forward, not me. I need to play and do well on the pitch, the only thing that matters is that we played well against Juventus.”
SempreInter.com – Did you speak to Klinsmann, Rummenigge or Sammer about Inter before joining?
“No, because it was my decision. I spoke to my family and friends and that was it. After deciding I’ve asked the guys about recommendations for restaurants and nice spots in Milan, but I didn’t speak to anyone about moving to Inter.”
Many clubs wanted to sign you in January, were the other important clubs? Was Mancini a big part of your choice to join Inter?
“I had three or four options, my relationship with Mancini helped. I spoke to him and Ausilio who worked hard to get me here. The meetings with Mancini encouraged me to make the decision, the negotiations were fun and pleasant and I am glad to be here. We have important months ahead of us, we need to aim as high as possible. Third spot and aiming to go as far as possible in the cups. Thanks to Mancini and Ausilio for working to get me here.”
Considering that Ronaldo is one of your idols, was that a reason that made you choose Inter?
“Everybody knows Ronaldo, I have asked him about things and he spoke well about Inter to me. He was unlucky due to all the injuries. Play in Brazil? I don’t know, we will see what the future holds.”
What made you decide to come here?
“First of all I’d like to thank Arsenal. It was a great time. But I could not play a lot and I decided that I needed to change. Inter offered me an opportunity, Mancini and Auslio convinced me. I have a great impression from the first day; we’ll see what will happen in the first home game. The goal is the third spot.”
You are here on a six month loan, can you stay after?
“Hard to tell, I have only been here a short time. I’ve only played one game in A, my goal is to help Inter in the coming 5-6 months. Then there will be meetings between Arsenal and Inter, we’ll see. But now it is time to concentrate on the near future, without talking about other things. The only thing that matters is what happens on the pitch, the rest comes after.”
If you wouldn’t reach the Champions League would that be a disappointment compared to your expectations? In which position do you want to play?
“I feel better when playing as a striker; we will see what Mancini will ask of me. He has a lot of experience and is known in the whole world. We will talk about it the coming days. Wherever I play I will do my best though. It is not where I am told to play that matters, but to play like we did the second half in Turin. Everybody would be disappointed without a Champions League spot, because Inter is one of the big clubs in the world. It’s not an ideal situation but if we remain united we have a chance to reach third. It is only 8 points away.”
What do you think of the arrival of Shaqiri?
“He is obviously a great player who will be good for our offensive lineup. At Bayern and at the World Cup he has shown what he is capable of, if he joins then he will be a reinforcement.”
It is possible that you won’t be in the EL list, would that be a problem?
“The decision has been taken; I have to accept it because those are the rules.”
What is your future in the National team?
“I have spoken with Löw about my transfer to Inter, I can still help the national team. At the moment I don’t want to think too much though, there are important games and things to learn here. In March we will see who will be called up.”
Do you think the serie A needs goal line technology?
“It doesn’t interest me at all.”