Legendary former Inter, Lazio, and Atletico Madrid striker Christian Vieri feels that the team must not take it as a given that the Serie A title race against AC Milan is over.
Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in today’s print edition, Vieri gave the view that everything is still to play for, and also that the Coppa Italia won’t take away the Nerazzurri’s energy for the league.
The Nerazzurri have to rely on results in city rivals AC Milan’s matches in order to overtake the Rossoneri in the final two matches of the season.
A two-point gap and the head-to-head advantage mean that Milan must either lose one of their matches against Atalanta and Sassuolo or drop points in both in order for the Nerazzurri to have a chance to overtake them by winning their two remaining games.
It’s a difficult and in some ways demoralizing situation for the Nerazzurri, but Vieri feels that they must approach it with the mindset that anything can happen.
“There are no percentages,” he said of the title race. “Atalanta can beat anyone in Italy, at home and above all away.”
“Cagliari are playing for survival, and did you see them in Salerno? They were possessed,” he added.
He said that “Milan have made themselves favourites in the table, but over the next two matches anything can still happen. If there are surprises, don’t be surprised.”
If the Nerazzurri do not succeed in winning the Scudetto, Vieri thinks that “This is football, otherwise the favourites would always win and for me Inter were exactly that.”
“But you have to play the matches, a win against Bologna can’t be taken for granted,” he added, “that was the slip-up, and not just that of Radu.”
“When you make a mistake three months from the end you can recover from it,” he pointed out, “at the end it’s harder.”
On whether he considers Lautaro Martinez indispensable to Inter, Vieri stated “Just talking about the pitch, Inter would lose a lot.”
“Economic issues aren’t my concern,” he added, “but I’ll say one thing – if the coach takes me off after scoring a brace, I don’t want to go off, they’d have to drag me away.”
On playing in the Coppa Italia final as well as the Scudetto race, he said that “That’s what being a great team is about, you don’t just play once a week.”
“Do you have a strong squad?” he posed. “Enough to play two games in five days. It’s better to fight for the title and play a final than to watch your rivals compete for it.”