BREMEN - "Our objective is clear, it is the Club World Cup and today we saw that it is so. Tonight's was a game played by a side that had already qualified. The really important game was the one we played at home against Twente. Tonight, we fielded some young players, which I consider is a positive aspect to take from the game, we didn't want to risk anyone." Rafa Benitez commented, to the Sky Sport microphones, the defeat suffered to the hands of Werder Bremen in the final group game of the UEFA Champions League 2010-2011, the last game that saw the Nerazzurri playing before their departure for Abu Dhabi where, as Benitez explained: "Inter's mentality will change, some of the injured players will return and it will be different for sure."
Who won't be different though will be Benitez, who doesn't consider his future to be reliant on the outcome of the Club World Cup ("I don't think my future depends on it," said the Spanish coach), a tournament in which neither Materazzi, absent today due to a muscle problem suffered during the pre-match warm-up ("we rested him as a precaution"), nor Zanetti, forced to abandon the pitch 10' into the second half ("he suffered a knock"), should be missing. Furthermore Benitez's will be able to rely on Mariga. "Who will be the key-man for the World Cup? I expect the team to do well as a team - replied Benitez with certainty - then the quality of the individuals may help, but what will matter is the team."
A defeat is not the best way to lift the morale ahead of such an important competition, but Benitez reassured: "We knew that without many important players it would have all been a lot harder, no doubt with the strength of Julio Cesar, Maicon and Milito it will be a different team. Any new faces is January? We shall see, I speak daily with president Moratti and with Marco Branca, we shall see."
Benitez ended by answering to those who spoke of a failure from the young players fielded this evening ("playing at this level is always an experience, it is not easy, and it will help them for the future") and by avoiding any ifs and buts ("what would I have done in the early part of the season if I had known what the injury situation was going to be? All I worry about now is improving, I don't look to the past.")
The Nerazzurri coach continued in his post-match comments talking to Mediaset Premium: "We tried to motivate the team, but the World Cup is near, luck didn't help us when Cordoba's deflection went into our net and with the woodwork we hit in the second half. We couldn't risk any returning players with the team having already qualified. Now we must show our pride for what we are going to face and I think all will do that well. Is there a Santon situation? There is no situation, like everyone else, he would have liked to stay on the pitch, nothing more."
Finally, talking to RAI Sport, Benitez said: "I spoke with president Moratti before the game, we agreed we'd do everything possible to win here in Bremen, but without risking anything ahead of the World Cup, for this reason I am calm. We still haven't seen the real Inter, the one with the players that last season made the difference. We expect them for the World Cup. A message to the disappointed fans? To them I say we are working a lot to change this situation and, that with the return of several players, we are convinced we can make it."