Ex-Inter Goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca: “I Would Have Signed Duvan Zapata”

Ex-Inter Goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca: “I Would Have Signed Duvan Zapata”
September 3, 2021 13:15
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Former Inter goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca has given his views on the Nerazzurri’s summer and the season already underway, especially the Champions League.

Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in today’s print edition, the 54-year-old spoke of his experiences in the Champions League with the Nerazzurri and moved on to the present team.

The Nerazzurri have a storied rivalry with Real Madrid, another of Europe’s great clubs, and Pagliuca was in goal for the 1998-99 Champions League campaign in which they lost away to the Merengues but then beat them at the San Siro.

The former keeper believes that the Nerazzurri could have the strength to get past Real and through the group stage, but that it could also be difficult.

Of his own experience playing against Real Madrid in the Champions League, he said that “It was special, do you know why? We were in the group, the first leg in Spain was a massacre – in September, we played in Sevilla because the Bernabeu were ruled out. We lost 2-0, they had 19 corners and we had zero, there was practically no match. The return took place two months later. It was magic.”

Pagliuca believes that the current Nerazzurri will have the right experience and mindset to get past the group stage this year after difficult and in the end disappointing recent campaigns.

“The experience of the last two seasons with the eliminations from the group stage was useful,” he said. “And from what I saw in the first two matchdays, it seems to me that the players have the same hunger as a year ago, as well as the same spine.”

On the overall strength of Inter, he said that “I think with the departures of Conte, Lukaku and Hakimi they have gotten a bit weaker. But not by much.”

He gave his view that “In attack I would have preferred Zapata, but the club has done a good job in bringing in functional players. Dzeko still has two seasons at a high level ahead of him, Dumfries showed what he is capable of at the Euros, Correa is the right man, and I applaud the speed with which they worked to replace Eriksen with Calhanoglu.”

Of Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi he said that “The ideal is to continue the work set by Conte. A year ago I was 100% sure of the Scudetto. This year I see a more balanced competition. But at the same time I don’t see anyone finishing ahead of Inter, even after the farewell of three important figures.”

By Toni Weeler

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