ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 09: Simone Inzaghi, Head Coach of FC Internazionale, speaks to the media during the FC Internazionale Press Conference ahead of UEFA Champions League 2022/23 final on June 09, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Inzaghi: "Unity, sacrifice, concentration: we will give everything"

Road to Istanbul

Jun 9th 2023

The Nerazzurri coach's comments on the eve of the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City

With just over 24 hours to go until the UEFA Champions League final that will see Inter and Manchester City face each other at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, coach Simone Inzaghi answered journalists' questions in his press conference the fay before the match:

What do you expect tomorrow and what do you ask of your players?

We know the kind of game we have to play, City are the strongest team in the world at the moment but we know our strength and we are proud to have come this far. We will do everything to play a game of incredible concentration, we will have to limit our mistakes and do our best against a very strong team.

Did this European journey bring you together? Has the human connection driven you even further?

Tomorrow will be the 57th game for us, it has been a very long journey, the first 56 games are what have allowed us to play tomorrow. We have had difficult moments through which we have grown, the lads have been great at pulling together, we have put in an insane amount of effort to get here. After reaching the final, we had little time to think about what we had achieved because we had a final league match to play and the Coppa Italia final. Now we are concentrating on this, we know that tomorrow we will fight inch by inch against a very strong team.

Will midfield be the key?

Midfield will be very important, but tomorrow the legs, the head and the heart will be very important. The legs will be needed for extra running, the head to stay sharp in all moments of the game and the heart in these matches helps you find energy you don't even think you have.

Will tomorrow be a game to make history...

Yes, tomorrow we have a great opportunity to make history for our club. We know it will be very difficult, but we will try TOGETHER, which is the word that brought us here, and together we will try to pull of something wonderful.

In a season that has not always been so easy, is this a bit of a full circle moment?

I, the boys and the staff are quite calm, there is serenity. Obviously the closer the game gets, the more the tension rises. We know what this game means for everyone, for the club, for the team and for the fans who have always followed us, we have never been alone, from the derbies in the semi-finals to all the European away games. Tomorrow we owe that extra sacrifice to the fans and to our club.

What is the atmosphere like inside the squad?

I have the good fortune to coach a group of real men that I wouldn't change for anyone. This squad has been giving me great satisfaction and joy for 20 months, which we have also managed to give the club and the fans. The lads are quite calm and are training well. We still have a few doubts, Mkhitaryan and Correa seem to be recovering, today there is still the last training session at the stadium and tomorrow the warm-up session.

Have you read President Zhang's comments? How important will this strength of yours be tomorrow?

Today is the last training session, Mkhitaryan had his first full training session yesterday after 22 days out, there are good feelings, I'll have to decide whether to use him from the start of the game. For the President I'm pleased with his words, in our path there have even been some not so happy moments and his words of comfort and phone calls have given great strength to me, the team and my staff.

Cosa faranno i tuoi difensori per arginare Haaland?

Sappiamo la forza del City, quella di Haaland, sarà un osservato speciale come tutti loro, lui è un giocatore d’attacco, abbiamo predisposto qualcosa ma tutta l’Inter dovrà essere brava a limitare tutto il Manchester City

What will your defenders do to contain Haaland?

We have always practised penalties throughout the year and we will try them again today, we are very careful. City's defence is solid and they conceded very little. We have to be good, beyond the formats we know, we are facing a team of absolute respect and we will try to play a game that is needed for a final.

The other 2 Italian teams lost in the final. Do you feel that Inter have to show something different for Italian football?

It is natural, it would be important for all Italian football. I am very sad for Roma and Fiorentina who played very good games. Now it's our turn, but regardless of how ours ends and how the others ended this year there was a great achievement with three finalists in all the European cups, a beautiful sign for Italian football.

Brozovic or Mkhitaryan?

In the first five months, I unfortunately didn't have a choice as I have had in the last few months and the results showed. We will also assess Mkhitaryan's condition for tomorrow.

You are a specialist in finals, how do you prepare players psychologically?

I am lucky to coach players who know how to play these kind of games, we have players who have played many important games, World and European champions who have played many finals, we have to be sharp, clever and manage the details that make the difference well, we should be good tomorrow in this sense.


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