VERONA – It was like a dream. The dreams he used to have as a child, hoping to become a professional footballer. Joaquin Correa only joined Inter on Thursday – barely enough time for his first training session. He passed through Appiano briefly in 2013. Now his dream has come true.
In the 74th minute of Verona v Inter, El Tucu came on for his debut with the scores at 1-1. Nine minutes later came his date with destiny.
Matteo Darmian put in the delivery, Correa climbed high into the air and headed Inter in front.
His debut goal became a debut double in stoppage time, with a superbly taken finish to make it 3-1.
Before him, only four strikers had bagged two goals on their Inter debuts: Nicola Ventola, Alvaro Recoba, Mohamed Kallon and Giampaolo Pazzini.
Recoba's, against Brescia, has gone down in Nerazzurri history. It was 31 August 1997, the day of Ronaldo's debut. Ventola got his a year later, against Cagliari on 13 September 1998, while Kallon struck twice against Perugia on 26 August 2001. Ten years ago, on 30 January 2011, Pazzini's brace helped Inter secure a late 3-2 victory at Palermo.
At the Stadio Bentegodi, Correa joined the club.
Only two players have done better on their Nerazzurri bows: Christian Vieri, with a hat-trick on 29 August 1999, also against Verona, and Istvan Nyers, who netted three times against Sampdoria on 9 September 1948.
After the game, Correa revealed what those match-winning goals meant to him.
"This is an amazing day for me because I dreamt of playing for Inter ever since I was a boy,” the 27-year-old explained.
“I came close to joining the club when I was very young. I've seen lots of great players play for Inter.
“It was a dream debut and I couldn't have hoped for more. I prepared well in the days before joining Inter and I'm happy I was able to contribute straight away.
“I'm not thinking about my goals too much though – we're all focused on achieving our goals as a team. Of course, if my goals help us win, so much the better.
“I want to thank all my team-mates for making me feel at home straight away and I want to dedicate these goals to everyone who is close to me.
“The fans have given me a wonderful reception. In the days before my move they were all telling me to come to Inter and today their support was amazing too.”