Steven Zhang, Javier Zanetti, Alessandro Antonello, Roberto Samaden and Luciano Spalletti gave their greetings at the Academy’s Christmas dinner


MILAN – Another successful year is set to come to an end for the Nerazzurri’s youth teams who gathered tonight at the Atahotel ExpoFiera to exchange wishes ahead of Christmas. Many were in attendance, from Piero Ausilio to Giovanni Gardini, Dario Baccin and Dr Volpi to Bedy Moratti. “I thank all of the people who made this evening possible,” said Roberto Samaden to start things off. “Last year, there were 650 of us, this year it’s almost 800.” 

“We thought that it would be impossible, like how we thought it would be impossible to win three titles in the same season, Instead, we did it and this teaches us that you can never set limits. We have to always cultivate our dreams, with the aim of developing and improving and remaining a great team. All of the trophies that you see are the rewards for the team that we have created on and off the pitch and everyday makes a difference because you can develop in the right way. We’re lucky to have a club that has always believed in us and that has followed us for year. We need to carry on like that, together because we can go far together.” 

Steven Zhang was also in attendance as he gave a really important message. “It’s not easy to be in front of all thse trophies, won thanks to the extraordinary work of you all. The media speaks every day of new players and new prospects but they don’t know about all the talent that we already have in house. You’re the future, not just of the club but the whole world. I thank the people who work every day for our Academy and who’ve made this all possible. I thank Stefano Vecchi and Roberto Samaden for taking our Primavera side into the UEFA Youth League.” 

The microphone was then handed to Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Antonello. “Don’t hold it against me but I admit that this is my favourite party,” he joked. “Here, you can see the future of our club, you can feel the energy from all of you, from our boys and girls. Remember that the colours you wear are very important, with a great history around to world. Always be committed on and off the pitch because before being footballers you need to be men and women. I thank all of the people who work with passion because your dream has become reality.” 

Vice-President Javier Zanetti couldn’t miss the event. “To see all of you makes me relive my dream from when I was a child. I was able to achieve it thanks to Inter, a fantastic club which wielcomed me in Italy and which will always be my family. These are and will always be my colours, I’ll never forget that. There are a lot of trophies here but I believe that the most important things are the values with which they were won. Never forget that when you wear this shirt.” 

Finally, Luciano Spalletti was there accompanied by Andrea Pinamonti and Yann Karamoh. “In the past I coached kids like you because I came through at youth teams and they were magnificent years. You need to always remember that being good at football isn’t enough to become a champion. You can’t be afraid of making mistakes or of adversity because that’s how you gain experience. You can’t skip obstacles, you need to take them on and beat them. With humility and courage because complacency is the worst flaw for a footballer.” 

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