MILAN – “To make it to a club like Inter is inevitably fulfilling a career goal, but at the same time it needs to be a starting point as I haven’t won anything yet and I want to demonstrate what I can do.” Today is Giampaolo Pazzini’s day. He was the main protagonist of the press conference at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, so much so that after the customary pictures with his new jersey, even coach Leonardo left the scene entirely to the new Nerazzurri striker, who was accompanied by the technical director, Marco Branca, and the sporting director, Paolo Ausilio.
Pazzini has chosen to wear the number 7 jersey, not without prior reflection, but with the support of a Nerazzurri legend who always honoured that number: “I received a phone call from Luis Figo and he told me that the number 7 jersey was an important one, but that I had his blessing to take it (smiled the striker).”
“Am I excited? Of course I am” continued Pazzini, “when there is a change like this one it is hard to believe it is really happening. The offer from Inter was unexpected and out of the blue, and a very important opportunity. Is it significant that I am the only Italian striker? Well despite the fact that Inter have not had an Italian striker in the side, they have achieved some important victories over the last few years and raised the profile of the club.”
The attention then shifted to the statements released yesterday by the Sampdoria president, Garrone: “I heard what the president had to say and I can’t deny I was a bit upset, but I don’t want to say anything as Sampdoria gave me so much; I gave a lot to Sampdoria too and I will never forget the time I spent in Genoa or the fans, who were always so welcoming towards me. Garrone said I was distracted by other things in my last few months there? If the president had come into the dressing room he would have seen the sacrifices I was making to be able to play…”
A warrior therefore, just like Marco Materazzi described him: “When I arrived at Appiano Gentile over half the people there told me I was always considered a pain because I had created so much bother as an opponent (he smiled), but what Marco said really pleased me.”
Cassano at Milan, Pazzini at Inter. Giampaolo pondered over the situation and smiled: “At the start of the season no one would have thought that it would have gone this way. Have I spoken to him? No, all that has happened is he sent me a text message congratulating me. Which of us made the best choice? I am very happy; I arrive in a team full of champions.”
And speaking of Milan, Pazzini guaranteed that the Inter comeback is still possible: “The Rossoneri are in front of us at the moment, but Inter still has a lot of desire to win and will demonstrate this.” And the Nerazzurri will demonstrate this with Pazzini on the pitch, because as he himself explained: “I’m in good shape, today I trained with the team and I didn’t feel any niggles so I am available. The competition with Milito and Eto’o? There is no negative feeling; a team like Inter inevitably needs to have a lot of big players.” And when asked why he opted for Inter when there were so many teams following him, Pazzini answered: “Inter was the team that showed the most faith in me and did all it could to sign me.”