Nerazzurri Defender Danilo D’Ambrosio: “Current Success With Inter Doubly Gratifying For Where We Came From”

Nerazzurri Defender Danilo D’Ambrosio: “Current Success With Inter Doubly Gratifying For Where We Came From”
January 2, 2022 12:15
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SempreInter.com

Inter defender Danilo D’Ambrosio has a unique perspective on the Nerazzurri’s current success and positive form, having been at the club through seasons of difficulty.

Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in today’s print edition, the 33-year-old explained that for him the Nerazzurri’s successes have felt special because of how far the team have come.

D’Ambrosio joined the Nerazzurri from Torino in January of 2014, and when he joined the club it had already been several seasons since they had been in the Champions League knockout rounds, let alone won the Scudetto.

It would prove to be even longer, as the 33-year-old was one of the few consistent performers through a difficult period which saw the Nerazzurri trophyless and even slipping into midtable.

The last few seasons have heralded gradual improvement, however, with the arrival of key figures such as Suning as owners, Beppe Marotta as CEO, and former coach Luciano Spalletti as well as several intelligent signings bringing the team’s level up.

Antonio Conte arrived in the summer of 2019 to replace Spalletti, and his two seasons in charge climaxed with a Scudetto.

Now, his replacement Simone Inzaghi has already brought the team to their first Champions League round of sixteen in a decade, while they sit top of the Serie A table after half a season gone.

“Handa, Ranocchia, and I, who have seen the dark, appreciate today more acutely because we have lived through certain moments personally,” D’ambrosio reflected.

“I have seen San Siro leave the stands early in protest and now I hear the fans chant my name,” he added, “having started from there, getting to where we are now is doubly gratifying.”

Asked what he expects from 2022, D’Ambrosio named “Growth. We’re not satisfied yet even if it’s becoming increasingly difficult to surprise people. Doing it once is one thing, but to repeat successes you need something more.”

Of the Nerazzurri’s difficulties last summer, he stated that “Many expected the worst, but in the locker room we were much calmer than those who watched from the outside.”

“A new coach has come in and has given us fresh ideas without removing the foundations from last year,” he continued, “everyone’s work so far has been excellent.”

D’Ambrosio made a dramatic late block which ensured that the Nerazzurri stayed in the top four and hence the Champions League places on the last match of the 2017-18 season, against Empoli.

“Reaching that Champions League then allowed the club to make the investments that brought us to where we are now,” he reflected on the significance of that moment.

“After that block, and also after my goal in the previous season’s match for Champions League football against Lazio, I began to feel a different kind of appreciation from the fans.”

Regarding the title race in Serie A this season, the defender said that “It’s just math, we can be caught if we make mistakes.”

“At any rate, Napoli, Atalanta and Milan will keep fighting for it until the end,” he predicted. “Now it’s their time to try and put pressure on us, but for a long time it was we who were in the position of chasing.”

Going back to the last summer, D’Ambrosio explained that “My contract had expired and, due to COVID, there was uncertainty around.”

“Talking about renewal was awkward,” he continued. “At that moment two clubs made me major offers, but I waited until the last moment for Inter to make their offer, and I chose to lower my salary to stay because playing for these colours is my priority.”

D’Ambrosio added that “My dream is to end my career here.”

The 33-year-old also had words for his teammate Denzel Dumfries who joined in the summer from PSV with the expectation of replacing Achraf Hakimi.

“Both Achraf and Denzel had some difficulties at the beginning,” he explained, “but they are different players and the way Inter play is different. The growth each showed, however, is similar.”

When asked about an interview with a former teammate who now plays in England, he joked, “Who, Jorginho??”

“Seriously, however, with regards to Romelu I can say that everyone is speak their minds, though their words always have consequences,” he said about former Inter striker Romelu Lukaku’s candid recent interview with Sky Sport Italia.

“For us yesterday is the past and tomorrow is the future,” D’Ambrosio reflected, “only the present counts. What matters is today, what matter’s is today’s Inter.”

By Toni Weeler

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