Inter Milan players had plenty to say following their 3-2 win at the Stadio Olimpico over Lazio to claim the fourth and final Champions League spot for Serie A.
Here is some of what they had to say, as posted on Inter Milan’s team website:
Nerazzurri captain Mauro Icardi — who’s penalty late in the match drew Inter level and tied him with Ciro Immobile for the league’s capocannoniere — said the team persevered after being down 2-1 at halftime.
”We had the objective of qualifying for the Champions League from the start of the year, we were aware from the start of our strength and we’re happy to have pulled this off today,” he said, on the team’s website. “The club, the Coach and his staff, all my teammates, everyone behind the scenes, we all believed in this and this is a well-deserved prize.”
Icardi, who has been the center of discussions about departing Milan, hinted at the fact that it is likely he will stay with the club and potentially sign an extension that puts his release clause near €180 million.
“We’ll speak with the club as we do every year but I’m the biggest Inter fan and I’m really happy here, my family is doing well in Milan,” he said. “My aim was to reach the Champions League and we’ll go again from that. I’ve also had work done to my house, if that’s not a sign then what is! When it’s ready, we’ll have a barbecue with everyone to celebrate.”
Midfielder Matias Vecino, who scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute, said the goal was the most important of his life.
“I am not the type of player who scores lots of goals,” said the Uruguayan after the match, who also pointed out a strike scored against Rome earlier on this season at the Stadio Olimpico. “However, the right moment arrived tonight. It is the most important goal of my career. Playing in Rome obviously suits me well.”
Vecino scored off a corner kick after defender Andrea Ranocchia was subbed in to the game.
“We gave everything, and when this is the case, results arrive sooner or later. All of the fans were fantastic and a special bond has been created,” Ranocchia said. “They’ve supported us throughout and they came here tonight to play this final with us. Fortunately, we got the win. I also want to thank the Coach for getting us back into the Champions League - well done to him and well done to everyone else. If the Coach had not brought me on then I would’ve come on myself.”
Even the normally quiet Samir Handanovic showed excitement after the match.
“The pitch made the judgement and said that we deserved it,” Handanovic said. “We improved a lot this season, but this fourth-place finish can only be a starting point. Congratulations to everyone. Now, we have to do even more.”
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