APPIANO GENTILE - Accompanied by José Mourinho, technical director Marco Branca and transfer market consultant Gabriele Oriali, Inter's latest signing Wesley Sneijder was unveiled to the Italian media in today's press conference at the training ground.
This is what the 25-year-old Dutch midfielder, who underwent his first training session with fitness coach Rui Faria this morning before making his way to the press room, had to say:
We know that the operation for your signing has been quite a contest. Are you happy to join Inter?
"Well first of all thank you. I think Inter is an amazing club, one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I'm very happy to be a player of Inter. It has been long, but finally I am here."
How much do you like pressure. You're not here to be an ordinary player.
"Well, to talk about pressure... I've been a player of Real Madrid and there was pressure there too. I can handle the pressure. I want to play games now and prove myself to all the people here."
What is your opinion of Mourinho?
"Of course he's one of the biggest coaches in the world. I saw him in Chelsea and here at Inter as well, I'm very happy to be a player of Inter and a player of Mourinho and I want to prove myself even more."
Your shirt is the number 10. What is your favourite role?
"I think I'm an attacking midfielder, so playing behind the strikers, yes, it's my position. The shirt number? If I start playing in this position it will be perfect."
The last Dutch number 10 at Inter was Bergkamp. Did you talk to him? Did you know that his adventure here was full of ups and downs? Are you ready for the derby?
"Actually I didn't speak to Dennis Bergkamp before but I think he's an example for every young player. He's an amazing player with lots of qualities. I hope I can do the same as what he did here during the good times. My shirt number isn't important. I just want to help the team. The derby? Yes, I would obviously like to play the derby. Everyone wants to play the big games. Will I play? I can't say anything about this game. We will see tomorrow."
Could you please explain to us why the negotiations were a bit slow?
"Yes, I know but I think that life at Real Madrid was perfect. My situation changed a lot in the last week. You have to talk about your future, think about your future. If you sign a four or five-year deal you have to be one hundred percent sure. Last week I was one hundred percent sure and the deal went through."
What do you know about the Italian championship and Inter?
"Like I said before, Inter is one of the biggest teams in the world and for sure in Italy. There were some Dutch players before in this club and some big players before. We have a great team in this moment so I think I will have a great time here. I had one guy in Ajax before, the team manager, his name was David Endt and he said 'one day you will play for Inter'. Yesterday he called me and said 'finally you have joined my club'."
When you arrived you said you had already spoken to Mourinho. What did he say to convince you to join Inter?
"It's important when you make decisions that the coach is 100% behind you and I can say that Mourinho is 100% behind me so this was a very big part of my decision."
Did you choose the number 10 shirt or did Mourinho give it to you?
"It was given to me. I don't know if it was the coach, but I suppose so."
How much did the 2010 World Cup influence your decision to join Inter? Were you given any advice or pressure from the Dutch national team coach?
"Actually I was thinking about my future and to sign a new contract for a new team for a long long time, not just for one tournament. I wasn't thinking about the World Cup, I wanted to be sure about my future. If I stayed at Real Madrid and didn't play that would have been another thing, but now I'm at Inter and I have to play my game. The World Cup wasn't the biggest point that influenced my decision."
Would you have preferred Real Madrid to Barcelona in the first Champions League game?
"No. I don't mind. It's nice to play against a Spanish team and to play against Barcelona will be amazing. I'm happy to play against Barcelona."