Inter captain Javier Zanetti targeting Super Cup triumph
MONACO – It has been a record breaking few months for Inter Milan. The Serie A giants at last sealed the Champions League title that had evaded them for so long – but not before wrapping up the Scudetto and Coppa Italia as they became the first Italian team to ever win the treble.
Given their recent achievements, one could be forgiven for assuming that tonight’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Atletico Madrid would be considered as nothing more than a final warm-up for the new season.
But not Inter’s veteran captain Javier Zanetti, who has his sights firmly set on adding a further title to the Italian Super Cup his side picked up last week following a 3-1 win over Roma.
“It’s a very important final for us,” stressed the 37-year-old Zanetti. “It’s the first time Inter are playing for this trophy and we are here to win, but with respect for a strong opponent.”
“We know it won’t be easy but we want to continue on this great path. Forlan and Aguero are certainly two of the strongest opponents tomorrow, so they deserve attention.
“I’ve never had the opportunity to win the Super Cup, so of course I am eager to win against Atletico. This will be the first time I have played in this match, so I really want to do well.”
Inter’s Italian Super Cup victory over Roma last weekend handed new boss Rafael BenÃƒÂtez his first piece of silverware since taking the reins from Jose Mourinho earlier in the summer, and the Spaniard acknowledges that the opportunity to add another title in Monaco has arisen thanks to the club’s previous successes.
“If we are here it’s because the club did really well before I joined the club, and now we have to exploit the opportunities,” Benitez said on Thursday.
“We have been working very hard this past month to get to know each other. Clearly it’s more difficult to enter a final with a new coach.
“But we have looked at this final and the games that Atletico Madrid have played in the (Spanish) league, to get all the knowledge about them,” Benitez added. “It’s a difficult match against a rival that is also experienced, but we trust we will be able to win.”
Inter’s new domestic season begins on Monday evening with a trip to Bologna before they host Udinese after the international break.
UEFA Super Cup 2010, Stade Louis II, 19.45BST
Inter Milan: 1-Julio Cesar; 13-Maicon, 6-Lucio, 25-Walter Samuel, 26-Cristian Chivu; 4-Javier Zanetti, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 19-Esteban Cambiasso; 9-Samuel Eto’o, 22-Diego Milito, 27-Goran Pandev
Atletico Madrid: 13-David de Gea: 17-Tomas Ujfalusi, 25-Diego Godin, 18-Alvaro Dominguez, 24-Felipe Luis; 19-Jose Antonio Reyes, 12-Paulo Assuncao, 8-Raul Garcia, 11-Fran Merida; 7-Diego Forlan, 10-Sergio Aguero
Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)