Inter goalkeeper Ionut Radu has admitted that retaining the Serie A title this season will be a considerable challenge but was still enjoying winning the league last term.
The Romanian made two appearances at the end of the campaign in Serie A as Antonio Conte’s side lifted a first league title since 2010, ending nine years of Juventus dominance.
In an interview with Inter TV yesterday, Radu reflected on the success and the challenges ahead, as the Nerazzurri prepare to kick off the new season with the visit of Genoa on 21 August.
“It’s always difficult, because those who play against Inter always give their all,” the 24-year-old declared.
“Especially now that we are the champions it will be very difficult, but also much more beautiful, because playing with the Scudetto shield is always a wonderful thing.
“It will be a very difficult match [against Genoa] because everyone wants to start with a bang. But we are ready for anything, we will see what happens.”
Despite leading Inter to the Scudetto last season, Conte departed the club and was replaced by former Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi. Radu gave an update on how preseason was going under the new tactician and how his role had changed.
“Preseason is going really well. I expected it to be worse because after a month and a half on holiday it is not easy to come back. But I did the preparation before and I am fine.
“The coach wants the goalkeeper to be the first attacker and must know how to play with his feet by starting moves. This has been the main request.”
Radu has a strong record on penalties but insisted that it was done to training properly and always looking for ways to improve himself.
“The secret is that I’m too strong! Joking! In general, the secret is to always work well in training, because what you do in training can then be called upon on the pitch. I always try to do better every day, this one is the most important thing in my opinion.”
Despite being at Inter since 2015, Radu insisted that he was not yet a veteran of the squad and quashed suggestions he could feature in a duet with fellow pianist Stefan De Vrij.
“I’m not yet a veteran of the club, because I’m young. I hope to become one though.
“I don’t know if I could play with De Vrij, he’s better than me. He almost does it for a living, whereas I play as a hobby,” Radu concluded.