Inter CEO Beppe Marotta feels that no matter the outcome of this evening’s Champions League round of sixteen second leg against Liverpool, it will be an important experience for the team.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia ahead of the match, the CEO spoke about the significance of learning how to play in European ties against the best teams in the Champions League.
The Nerazzurri always knew that Liverpool were going to be difficult opposition when they drew the Premier League side for the round of sixteen, but they nevertheless went toe-to-toe in the first leg three weeks ago.
However, a lack of killer instinct in front of goal combined with excellent defending by the Reds meant that they could not find the back of the net, whilst they were punished for switching off on set pieces twice in the second half.
Going into the second leg with a two-goal deficit, the Nerazzurri will have no illusions that it will be straightforward, but they nevertheless will try to show their best against the strongest opposition they’ve faced all season.
“It’s an important match for the growth of =many players who are experiencing an atmosphere like this for the first time,” Marotta said.
“The fact that at times we’ve not been able to reap what we’ve sown in terms of our performances along this path can teach us that sometimes cynicism is needed in football,” he continued.
Of President Steven Zhang, he said that “We’re very close, there is a team on the pitch and also one off of it, and we need to act as a whole to create the right attitude.”
“The presence of the President with us is a testament to this way of doing things,” he added.
“The pandemic marked a difficult moment for everyone,” the executive went on, “but we must look to the future with optimism, trying to make the best of our resources, including our academy, which is one of the best in the world.”
He said of Liverpool’s coach that “I remember when Klopp arrived here and built a top side brick by brick – he’s one of the best coaches in the world and Liverpool are one of the best teams in the world.”
Of the Inter fans who made the journey to Anfield, he said that “They’re important for us, they are reliving something that they haven’t for a while.”
“Travelling here is a sacrifice and must be rewarded by us playing with great intensity to the very end,” Marotta concluded.