Backup goalkeeper Raffaele Di Gennaro has revealed why he wears the Number 12 shirt at Inter Milan.

The 30-year-old explained that the number is a tribute to legendary former Nerazzurri keeper Julio Cesar in the matchday programme for this evening’s Serie A clash with Empoli.

Di Gennaro re-joined Inter last summer.

The keeper certainly did not come in with any expectation that he would have a prominent place in the team on the pitch.

Di Gennaro arrived as the third-choice keeper, replacing Alex Cordaz.

But that doesn’t mean that the Italian hasn’t had an important role in the team.

Di Gennaro has had a big part to play in training, forming a cohesive squad behind the scenes.

Raffaele Di Gennaro Explains Why He Wears Number 12 At Inter Milan

A key reason why Inter brought Di Gennaro back is that he’s a player who knows the club well.

The 30-year-old had come through the Nerazzurri’s youth academy.

That means that Di Gennaro is a player who feels a strong connection to Inter. This is something that he has helped to instill in all of his teammates.

And DI Gennaro’s feeling of connection to the Nerazzurri is something that stretches some way back in time.

The 30-year-old still feels a kinship with a former great from Inter’s recent past.

“Inter has always been synonymous with dreams and home for me,” Di Gennaro said.

“Being back wearing these colours that makes me happy and proud at the same time – said the Nerazzurri number 12.”

“I grew a lot here, and experienced moments that I’ll never forget. Like the NextGen Series final that we won against Ajax during the 2011-12 season.”

“I feel a profound connection to that match because we’d really done something special,” Di Gennaro said.

“Players who were my idols were here, like Julio Cesar – He’s the reason why I wear Number 12.”

“This is the team I love, and it welcomed me with open arms as a child,” Di Gennaro said of Inter.