Inter Vice-President Javier Zanetti feels that the Nerazzurri cannot expect that they’ve gotten off easy by Porto in the Champions League round of sixteen.

Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia after the round of sixteen draw, Zanetti emphasized the quality that the Portuguese champions have.

Of the six possible opponents that Inter could have drawn, there will be some relief that the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, and especially Manchester City had been avoided.

Meanwhile, a meeting with former coach Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur has been avoided, at least for the time being, as has a tie against a high-flying Benfica who beat Juventus twice and topped a group containing Paris Saint-Germain.

Nevertheless, Porto are certainly a team who have shown their quality in Europe, particularly by topping a group containing the likes of Club Brugge, Bayer Leverkusen, and Atletico Madrid.

“I’m optimistic by nature,” Zanetti said, “especially when things start to get difficult.”

“I have great respect for Porto,” he continued, “who’ve done very well in their group.”

“I know Conceicao well and I know he’s doing a great job,” the Vice-President said of Porto’s coach, “they played an excellent match against Atletico for example.”

“But we’re also very formidable, and we hope to be in great form when the tie arrives.”

Asked if he feels that there’s a risk of underestimating the Portuguese champions, Zanetti replied “Absolutely not.”

“I have to reiterate, I saw their match against Atletico, who know how to defend very well, and they still created several chances.”

“I was expecting we’d get Chelsea, but instead we’ve drawn Porto, who are a team who deserve the utmost respect.”

“From the midfield and forward they’re very dangerous,” he said of Porto.

Of the Nerazzurri’s need to improve “We need to improve at both ends of the pitch, everything has to work better than it currently is.”

“We are conceding too many goals, we have to work hard on that.”

“Yesterday we also had opportunities to take the lead,” he said of the Nerazzurri’s 2-0 loss to Juventus, “after which point the match got more complicated for us.”