DÜSSELDORF – Inter’s UEFA Europa League semi-final showdown is drawing nearer, with Antonio Conte’s side set to face Shakhtar Donetsk on Monday knowing that a place in the final is at stake: “We know Luis Castro’s team well, we saw their match against FC Basil and have watched videos of them,” explained Diego Godin to Inter TV. “They really like to keep the ball and also have no qualms about dropping back and using the wings. They have quality, and we’ll need to press them well and put together moves that will hurt them, especially through those who can make the difference in one-on-ones.
“We’re a great group and always have been. We have many good lads, and, if you want to make progress, harmony in the dressing room and quality players are of utmost importance,” the Uruguayan added. “We’re happy and where we want to be: we’re playing in an important competition and are growing. During my career, I’ve always tried to have good relationships with my teammates. I try to get on with everybody, with this having always been one of my characteristics. I’ve worked as hard as possible to put the Coach’s instructions into practice out on the pitch, they’re different to what I’d been used to previously. I’ve had to work on both the mental and physical side of things. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve been able to understand his philosophy and how he wants to take the team forward. I think that I’ve overcome a personal challenge. I’ve now reached a point where it’s easier for me to help my teammates and be a leader on the pitch, where the Coach’s ideas are implemented, and off it too.”
Inter’s No.2 then had a few complimentary words to say about Lukaku and his attacking teammates: “Romelu is very important for our system. He’s made great strides forward, including from a mental perspective. The strikers are integral as we look to keep the ball and find space. If they are feeling good and do what the Coach asks of them, it’s difficult for our opponents to defend against them.”