Inter’s treble-winning hero Goran Pandev vows he will always remain grateful to the Nerazzurri for bringing him to Italy in 2001.
The North Macedonian striker rejoined the club from Lazio in January 2010 and helped Jose Mourinho’s side complete an historic season, in which they won Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions League in Madrid.
Speaking to Macedonian Football, Pandev reflected on his time in Serie A which has seen him play for no fewer than six clubs: Spezia, Ancona, Lazio, Napoli and now Genoa, as well as Inter.
He said: “I left Macedonia at the age of 18, and the offer from Inter was the decisive factor.
“My club Belasica accepted that offer and I moved to Italy.
“I was aware that I was joining one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
“For me it was a dream coming true and I believed that one day I would play for the first team of Inter.
“I did not get any chance at the beginning, but knowing myself and my determination I knew that one day I would play for the first team.
“I was not considering to give up or to be disappointed, I just knew I had to work harder in order to succeed.
“All the clubs in Italy helped me to advance in my career and to accomplish what I am today.
“I have respected all clubs and I did my best, but if I must choose, Inter is the club that brought me to Italy and I am grateful to them.
“There are two dearest moments in my career: winning the Champions League with Inter and qualifying with Macedonia for Euro 2020.”
Pandev made 69 appearances in all competitions for Inter, scoring eight goals before joining Napoli in the summer of 2011.
He has 114 caps for the North Macedonian national team, of which he is captain, including 36 goals.
Pandev scored the goal in November that secured his country their first ever appearance at a major tournament, helping them defeat Georgia 1-0 in a play-off.