Saturday September 14 2019
Capello: 'Lukaku the modern striker'

Fabio Capello calls Romelu Lukaku “a modern striker” perfectly suited to Antonio Conte’s Inter and rejects Champions League reform.

The Nerazzurri host Udinese at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

They will then begin their Champions League campaign, in a group with Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Slavia Prague.

“Inter had the worst draw of the Italian clubs, but the fixture list could help them, because it’s an advantage starting with Slavia Prague at home,” Capello told La Gazzetta dello Sport’s magazine Sportweek.

“The showdowns with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund arrive when the team will have had more time to gel, with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez already settled in.

“Inter and Beppe Marotta worked well on the transfer market, but Conte needs time to impose his style of football on the team. That seems to me the fundamental problem, but I am optimistic on everything else.”

The Nerazzurri fought hard to secure Lukaku from Manchester United for €65m plus bonuses after weeks of negotiations.

“Lukaku is a modern striker: he scores goals, helps the team and defends. Plus he now gets to work with Conte, a Coach who makes the difference.”

Juventus and other big clubs have proposed a change of structure for the Champions League, but Capello is unconvinced.

“I like the current Champions League. The so-called SuperChampions would be an elite event, while I prefer to give everyone a chance of success. Just think of Claudio Ranieri and Leicester City in the Premier League three years ago.

“A different Champions League would be like a football NBA: it might work in the United States, but not in Europe, which has 55 different affiliated Federations.

“Now that Italy go straight into the group stages, it cancels out the disadvantage they had in preliminary rounds because Serie A starts later than most of the other leagues.”

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