MILAN - Inter may be Champions of Italy but they haven't stopped winning, and they finished off the week that saw them confirm their 19th Scudetto in style: at San Siro, Antonio Conte’s men beat Sampdoria 5-1 thanks to goals from Gagliardini, Pinamonti, Lautaro and a brace from Sanchez.
Here’s what the Inter Coach had to say at the end of the game:
What are your emotions right now?
“Immense satisfaction - Inter had not won the Scudetto for 11 years, so it's natural that we and our fans are now so desperate to celebrate something that we’d been waiting for so long to do. We're happy to bring this joy to them. We continue to do exceptional things, we have 85 points and haven't lost since the away game against Sampdoria. The boys continue to impress, and it's a real pleasure to watch them play. We have to enjoy this Scudetto because we know how much we have worked for it and how much we had to suffer to get here. We have, over the past two years, done something truly amazing: we've brought back credibility to this Club.”
Are there still ways to improve the players, or is the job done?
“The work we’ve done in the last two years has reaped great reward: our stock has grown not only on the pitch, but also from the economic standpoint. The value of this group today is far greater than it was when we started. I think that the behind-the-scenes investment has been repaid. I bring certain expectations and think, ultimately, that they've been met. There are still so many young players with room for growth, but now they are winners: they know what it takes to win. We haven't rested on our laurels and today that was evident. Winning has to become part of your DNA, beyond simply winning the Scudetto itself. To be a winner, winning has to be your obsession.”
Do you expect a guard of honour from every opponent?
“What I expect is that the boys put in outstanding performances. As of right now, we're concentrating on the game against Roma and will aim to face them in the right way, like we did here today.”
What is Antonio Conte’s most valuable quality for Inter?
“Not having left any stone unturned these past two years at Inter; I feel that I have outdone myself because I've put everything that I have into this journey to try to face up to the challenges it has presented. It has definitely been my biggest challenge to try to win here, so it gives me a great sense of satisfaction now.”
All the players seem delighted, and appear, without exception, to have been pulling in the same direction. Is that the case?
“They have certainly all done so, but it was the same last year. It's no coincidence that when I'm asked which player has grown the most I say Andrea Pinamonti. Even though he has hardly played, he's had the chance to work alongside great champions and is now a far more complete player. You saw it today, he protects the ball incredibly well and knows how to attack the spaces. He is a great prospect and has to keep working, because he could become an important, talked-about player in the future.”