Ahead of Inter versus Barcelona tomorrow night, former Inter owner and president Massimo Moratti has shared his thoughts and feelings.
“This is always a special game due to the history, prestige and great quality that the two teams have. No matter when they meet, the match between the clubs is always like a final. Nobody will want to fail. There are many expectations on both sides and I’m sure we’ll see a great show at San Siro,” he said in an interview with Spanish newspaper Sport.
“Inter have to go on the field with only one thing in mind and that is to win. They cannot think too much about what is going on in the Borussia Dortmund match. In order to win, the Nerazzurri will have to repeat the great first half that they played away in Barcelona. I completely trust Antonio Conte and his team. I am convinced that it is possible to reach the next round.”
He then went on to discuss what he likes about Conte’s Inter.
“The mentality. I really like this Inter in general, they have an excellent coach on the bench and a great team, but it is the mentality that really makes the difference. Today, thanks to the work culture and the sacrifice given by Conte, all Nerazzurri players are willing to sacrifice themselves for the team. The coach is getting the best from all his players.
“Both Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku are doing great. They are two great strikers who score goals and work for the team.
Next he was asked if any of the current squad would make it into the squad which won the treble.
“Inter have many interesting players. Handanovic is a very important goalkeeper, Sensi and Barella immediately adapted to their new surroundings and Lautaro is a real talent.
Moratti proceeded to recall the deal with Barcelona which brought Il Fenomeno Ronaldo to the club.
“It wasn’t terribly difficult to get a deal done. There was a clause and I paid it, even though no one expected a champion like him to join Inter. There wasn’t much negotiation with Barça and with President Núñez, we invested what had to be invested and the player himself helped us a lot to realise that dream. Ronaldo was fantastic.
“I don’t know if he was the best buy in club history, but it certainly was in my long time as president. We are talking about Ronaldo. He done things with the ball that most humans cannot even imagine.
He then spoke on the deal that sent Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona and saw Samuel Eto’o come to Inter.
“This was a great deal and one of the smartest I have ever done. I love Zlatan and I was sorry to sell him. It was a very painful goodbye on both a personal and sporting level. Eto’o helped us win the treble. It is something unforgettable which will be foreever written in the DNA of this club. Without selling Ibra, we would never have had Eto’o.
He concluded by revealing one player he hoped to sign from Barcelona but failed to do so.
“I dreamed of signing Andres Iniesta. I told the Barcelona management several times that I was crazy about him but they told me that they would not sell him for any price.”