Midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu feels that he is ready to give everything for Inter Milan, and backs the team including the summer signings.
The Turkish international spoke in a press conference ahead of tomorrow evening’s Champions League match against Benfica, as reported by FCInterNews.
Tomorrow evening, Benfica will face Inter at the San Siro.
The two teams had previously met just a few months ago, in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
And this time around, the two teams face off in the group stage of the competition.
Neither got off to an ideal start to their group stage campaign.
Inter could only scrape a draw away to Real Sociedad in their opening match. That came courtesy of a Lautaro Martinez equalizer late in the match.
And in truth, it was hardly a result that the Nerazzurri deserved, as it had been the home side in the ascendancy for much of the match.
And for Benfica it was even worse.
Playing at the Estadio da Luz, the Portuguese fell to a 0-2 defeat against Red Bull Salzburg.
Hakan Calhanoglu Says He’s Ready To Give Everything For Inter Milan
Calhanoglu reflected that “Last season it was great to be in the final. Unfortunately we didn’t bring home the trophy, but I’m proud of my teammates and the team for what we did.”
“Our journey wasn’t easy, we showed in the final that we’re a strong tean and we know it.”
The Inter midfielder noted that “We’ve improved many things, this season we’ve started well in the league except for the slip-up against Sassuolo which is something that can happen when you play every three days.”
“Our group is ready for tomorrow’s match,” he continued.
“I wasn’t in the team against Real Sociedad due to injury. Tomorrow the coach will make his decisions.”
Calhanoglu, who played under Benfica coach Roger Schmidt at Bayer Levertkusen, observed that “Benfica have quality. I know their coach well, and I can’t wait to face them tomorrow.”
Calhanoglu said of his relationship with the Inter fans that “It can’t be explained. You can only experience it.”
“The fans make me feel something incredibly special. Not just me, but also my family.”
Calhanoglu noted that “My mother was crying, she was proud of me, as was my wife.”
The midfielder made clear that “I will always give everything for this shirt.
“I’ll never forget my first day at Inter,” he added. “Everybody helped me a lot. You know how hard it is coming here from Milan. I have to thank everyone.”
Calhanoglu Compared Benfica’s Di Maria To Sassuolo’s Berardi
The Inter midfielder also spoke about the threat of Benfica winger Angel Di Maria.
Of the former Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid man, Calhanoglu said that “He’s similar to Berardi, let’s say.”
“He has a lot of qualities and experience. But it’s not just him who we have to watch out for.”
“Tomorrow the details will make the difference,” Calhanoglu anticipated.
Compared to last season’s quarterfinal tie against Benfica, Calhanoglu said that “There’s always room for improvement.”
“Over the last two years I’ve improved in many aspects,” he continued
The former AC Milan midfielder noted that “We’ve analyzed the matches, the coach and his staff give us instructions and then it’s up to us to execute them on the pitch.”
“We want to win the ball in midfield,” Calhanoglu noted. “That’s my goal.”
“And then play the ball as fast as possible, and vertically.”
Praise For Kristjan Asllani & New Inter Signings
And of his teammate Kristjan Asllani, Calhanoglu said that “He and I have had a good relationship since the first season he arrived here.”
“I spoke to him straight away,” he noted of the young Albanian international. “He has something special. There’s a lot of quality to him.”
“What we say to each other has to remain between us, but if you want to know what I say to him, I tell him to always give his best, to be more aggressive, and to be more hungry in duels.”
Calhanoglu said of Asllani that “He’s improving. He’s a great young guy who knows how to listen.”
As for whether Saturday’s win against Salernitana can give Inter a boost tomorrow, Calhanoglu said “Of course. But we’re always ready.”
“The new signings are top players, they’ve helped make us a top group,” he continued.
The Inter midfielder made clear that “We never want to give up. We don’t want to slip up against the smaller teams.”