Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi feels that a “sacrifice” was necessary from wingback Juan Cuadrado against his former side Juventus.
The coach spoke in a press conference after the match, as reported by FCInterNews. He also suggested that it will be tough for the Colombian to start against Benfica in midweek.
Cuadrado made his return to the pitch for Inter in a match that he’ll have circled on his calendar when he joined on a free transfer during the summer transfer window.
The 35-year-old has a long history with Juventus. He spent eight years playing for the Bianconeri, only leaving a few months ago.
And Cuadrado has been in his share of Derby d’Italia matches – often at the centre of flashpoint incidents. But until now, he had always been in a Juventus shirt.
Not this evening, however.
Cuadrado came off the bench during the second half, replacing Denzel Dumfries.
This was the first match that Cuadrado had played for club or country since the Serie A draw against Bologna in October.
The Colombian has been dealing with some persistent tendon problems.
Cuadrado was fit enough to contribute this evening. The former Chelsea and Fiorentina veteran in fact proved to be a live wire on the right flank with his dribbling, drawing a few fouls.
But as Inter coach Inzaghi revealed after the match, it was not easy for Cuadrado in his current physical condition.
Inzaghi: Cuadrado Made “A Sacrifice” Vs Juventus
After the match, Inzaghi remarked that “It wasn’t easy to play here. We’re missing some important players to injury, and some players weren’t at their best.”
“We asked Cuadrado for a sacrifice,” the coach said.
“He made himself available to the team.”
“Dumfries was also not at his best when he returned from international duty,” Inzaghi continued.
“We had three players out, and two players who had to grit their teeth because at the moment we’re struggling with injuries in that position.”
Of Cuadrado, Inzaghi said that “He’s certainly not a player that we’re just discovering now.”
“We really wanted to sign him,” the coach said of the former Juventus man.
“Unfortunately he’s still struggling with a tendon problem that he’s never had before,” the coach observed.
“We know what he can give us,” Inzaghi said.
The Nerazzurri coach praised Cuadrado. “I congratulate him because he made himself available given the importance of this match.”
“We’re currently struggling for options in that position. So we hope that the therapies that he’s undergoing can get rid of the pain he’s been feeling.”
As far as whether Cuadrado will be able to play against Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday, Inzaghi said “I don’t know.”
“We’ll have to see in the next few days,” he went on.
“But I don’t think that it will be from the first minute,” Inzaghi said. “I don’t think that he has a full match in his legs yet.”
“The number of matches we have close together are causing us some problems,” the coach admitted.
“We have the match in Lisbon. And then we have another delicate away match in the league.”
Inter travel to Naples to face reigning Italian champions next weekend.
“We knew it was going to be tough when we saw the fixture list.”