Handanovic: “Let's hang in there as we wait to return to the pitch to fight together"


The Nerazzurri goalkeeper responded to questions sent in by Inter fans

MILAN – Samir Handanovic was the latest player to hold a video call today. From his home, the Nerazzurri captain responded to questions sent in by Inter fans on the Club’s social media channels and started by talking about the difficult period that we’re all going through: “Everyone is aware of what is going on. We’re following the rules, staying at home and doing what we’re being told to do. Obviously, there’s a bit of worry, but this is normal. It’s difficult to stay focused, but we’re training at home. We’re also watching old videos or matches on TV and staying in touch. As is also the case with many other teams, videos have been sent by the coaches so we can continue to train. Aside from this, I’m with my family and have been playing cards and chess. I’ve also been doing some reading and watching TV in the evening with my children.”

There were many questions which referred to the captain’s armband: “Wearing the Inter shirt and being the captain of this Club is a privilege, it’s something I’m proud of. I’m telling my teammates to hang in there, to make the most of the time they’re currently spending with their families as we wait to return to the pitch to fight together.”

Handanovic then took a leap into the past, remembering his arrival at Inter and his best saves in a Nerazzurri shirt: “Joining Inter was a dream come true, something which brought great happiness. I considered it a source of pride and a test for me. I’ve made many saves, but the most difficult one, and one which I remember fondly, is the stop I produced in the #DerbyMilano to keep out Çalhanoğlu’s free kick. My favourite save is the one I’m going to make next, the stop that I still have to produce.” As regards the moments he’s most enjoyed during his Inter career: “Inter vs. Empoli last season was a great evening, particularly because it ended well. It was a difficult moment for us and we knew that everything was on the line on the final matchday, but we were able to celebrate in the end. It was fantastic and emotional. And then there’s the game against Lazio on the last day of the season two years ago, this is the evening which I most like to remember.”

On becoming a goalkeeper and his fellow Nerazzurri shot-stoppers: “I became a goalkeeper after watching my cousin. Like all other children, I played outside and, after seeing him in goal and watching his saves, I thought I’d try it out. If I had to name one Inter goalkeeper I particularly admired, it’d be Julio Cesar: I watched him play plenty of times. Padelli, Berni and I get along really well. We’re not just goalkeeping teammates, we’re also good friends off the pitch: there’s a real connection. Making sure I’m on my toes at decisive moments is, I believe, one of my characteristics. I also have a lot of willpower, which is something that you also need to work on. All shots are difficult to save, a goalkeeper can never afford to underestimate anybody. And then there are specialised shooters of the ball who are particularly dangerous.” Handanovic’s childhood idol? “Peter Schmeichel.”

Finally, the skipper spoke about Inter’s fans and a dream he’d like to fulfil: “My dream is to win trophies while at Inter. It’s great when the fans sing about you in the stands, I was a bit embarrassed at first but now enjoy it.”

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