Monday December 16 2019
Zanetti: 'EL objective for Inter'

Vice-President Javier Zanetti has assured that Inter are looking to be “leading lights” in the Europa League this season.

After dropping down from the Champions League, the Nerazzurri will face Bulgarian League leaders Ludogorets in the last 32 of the second-tier tournament.

Zanetti, when asked about the draw, warned they couldn’t take anything “for granted” in the first leg as he expects “some surprises” next year.

“There are no matches that can be taken for granted, especially in these competitions,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We must approach every game in the best possible way because there are always some surprises.

“Now we want to finish the year well in the League and then we’ll have time to prepare for these two matches.”

The Argentine admitted he was “sorry” Inter crashed out of the Champions League but made it clear they would take the Europa seriously.

“We want to be leading lights because we always want to do well in Europe.

“We are sorry to exit the Champions League, now we must concentrate on this tournament, which is equally important.

“It becomes an objective. We prepared the group well [for the Champions League], but the pitch said we weren’t ready.

“Let’s remember that this is the beginning of a journey where we are doing good things.

“There’s always time to improve some things.”

Despite their elimination, he praised new coach Antonio Conte for guiding the Beneamata to the top of Serie A.

“More than surprised, we are happy. To watch the culture of his work, the passion he manages to convey to everyone is very important for a team who want to fight for big objectives.

“He is very prepared, intelligent and has a great personality. We are at the beginning of a new path, we must work on the details, but we’re on the right path.

With some crippling injuries, how does Zanetti think Inter can juggle three fronts?

“It depends on how we get to them. If we look at the last two months, with the injuries that have penalised us, I would say everything lies there.

“But we feel we can compete until the end, recovering the men who are missing and playing as we are doing.

“It won’t be easy, because there will be at a great cost. But we are ready because the work culture is positive, and we must continue like this.”

The former club captain pointed to their history in European competition, which has seen them win the UEFA Cup and Champions League in recent decades.

“Our history is clear; we have always been protagonists in the Champions and Europa League.

“We have a duty we need to believe in, work with great humility and hope to go all the way.”

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