Advertisement
Friday, Jan 21, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Europa League: Don't Call My Inter Team The 'Saviours' Of Italy, Pleads Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte must contend with an Alexis Sanchez injury blow as Inter prepare to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League semi-finals

Europa League: Don't Call My Inter Team The 'Saviours' Of Italy, Pleads Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte | AP Photo
Europa League: Don't Call My Inter Team The 'Saviours' Of Italy, Pleads Antonio Conte
outlookindia.com
2020-08-17T13:21:31+05:30

Antonio Conte vowed Inter should not be portrayed as Italy's footballing "saviours" as they battle for Europa League glory. (More Football News

A semi-final against Shakhtar Donetsk awaits coach Conte and his team on Monday in Dusseldorf, with the prospect of ending the season with silverware. 

Attentions have turned to Inter at home after Juventus fell to Lyon and Napoli lost to Barcelona in the Champions League last-16, while Atalanta bowed out to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the same competition. 

READ: Sevilla Beat Manchester United 2-1 To Enter Europa Final

The Nerazzurri represent Italy's last hope for a European trophy this season, but Conte dismissed the notion they are playing for the nation. 

The former Italy and Juventus boss said in a news conference on Sunday: "We don't consider ourselves the saviours of the country, we've made our journey without looking at the others. 

"Our goal is to improve ourselves. Personally, if we achieved a European success I would be happy for the club, not for myself. I'm not thinking about my personal record but about the club that decided to hire me." 

Conte looks set to have to cope without the injured Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean battling to recover from a hamstring injury. 

"Sanchez has been out for three quarters of the season," Conte said. "Now we realise what kind of weapon we are missing. It is normal that not having him available is disappointing for me and denies me a fundamental element."

At least Inter should have Romelu Lukaku available, with the former Everton and Manchester United striker having scored in his last nine matches in this competition. 

That run began in 2014, in his Everton days, and Lukaku is the first player to have strung together such a run either in the Europa League or its forerunner, the UEFA Cup. 

He has been involved in 15 goals during that sequence, scoring 12 times and having three assists. 

Inter are through to the semi-finals of a European competition for the first time since they won the Champions League in the 2009-10 campaign, but Conte is taking nothing for granted about going any further. 

He described Shakhtar as "a team full of talented players", saying Inter would show them "great respect". 

Conte closed down questioning about Inter's transfer plans. 

Club president Steven Zhang has big ambitions for the club, with even Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi linked to Inter recently. 

"At this time it is inappropriate to talk about the transfer market and other players," Conte said. 

"We are playing the season finale and I can only thank my squad for what they've done during the season and after lockdown, they have been commendable."

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement