Zanetti: "We'll give our all"

SPLIT – After Stramaccioni it was time to hear from Zanetti, who – just three
games away from his 800th competitive appearance – would mark his 150th
European match for the Nerazzurri tomorrow should he take to the pitch:
"We know that we’ll encounter a very energetic atmosphere tomorrow, but I
believe there are many of us who are used to this kind of situation. The important
thing is to try to play an intelligent match and try to make the most of our
characteristics that we believe can help us play a great game."

The Nerazzurri captain also spoke about preparation: "We’ll
have to be smart. We know we still haven’t done a full month of work yet but
we’ll have to pull out our other qualities and try to always keep in mind that
there are two matches and that we have to try to give everything we have."

The first competitive match tomorrow will also mark the start of Zanetti’s 18th
season at Inter. "It’s an important season for everybody because there are
so many changes. I’m confident. There are also a lot of youngsters and those of
us with more experience have to help them. They represent the future of this
club – a great future," he stated.

Chinese invest in Inter

President Massimo Moratti will retain overall control of the club, with a subsidiary of construction company China Railway set to provide engineering expertise and investment for a new arena.

The plan is for the new stadium to be completed by 2017 and for the involvement of the Chinese company to help promote the Inter brand in Asia.

“Internazionale Holding Srl announces that it has reached an agreement which envisages the acquisition of a stake in FC Internazionale SpA by a group of Chinese investors,” a club statement read.

“The Moratti family will keep the control of the company, while the group of Chinese investors will become the second largest shareholder.

“At the same time China Railway 15th Bureau Group Co Ltd, a company controlled by China Railway Construction Corporation, and FC Internazionale SpA have started a joint effort for the construction of a new proprietary stadium expected to be completed by 2017.


“In the upcoming months the parties will jointly select the potentially suitable locations, define the project team and start the filing process to obtain the required authorisations.”

The deal has been done with the aim of Inter “expanding its presence in the Asian markets to raise new resources for the enhancement of its international future development and winning perspectives”.

Moratti told Sky Sport 24: “In China, Indonesia, in all these places… there are many fans and we believe that this agreement could have multiple benefits from this point of view and that makes me very happy.

“It will be an important statement commercially, given the number of fans and the level of interest in that region.”

Stramaccioni: "The responsibilities I wanted"

SPLIT – Inter’s path in the Europa League begins here in Split. From the heart
of the Stadion Poljud coach Andrea Stramaccioni and captain Javier Zanetti
spoke about this first match.

The Nerazzurri coach opened the conference: "We’ve tried to prepare for
this game in the best way possible. We have great respect for Hajduk, a team
that has shown themselves to be steadily growing over these early

"We’ve prepared for this match based on the current Hajduk team, which
plays in a stadium that gives them a great home advantage thanks to the
energetic atmosphere," explained Stramaccioni.

Which of their players does the coach consider to be the most dangerous?
"I know Vukovic. When I was with Roma’s youth academy we considered him to
be a very interesting youngster. I think he’s one of their most dangerous
together with the two midfielders and the central defender, not to mention the

"I’ve seen Hajduk grow over these four games. For them it’s an advantage
to have already played four competitive matches," said Stramaccioni. He
then added: "We’re arriving at this match without even a month of work
under our belts. And for an Italian team it’s never easy to play as early as 2
August, but we still think we’ll be able to do well just the same."

The curiosity of the Croatian journalists was then directed toward Marko
Livaja, who played for two years in Hajduk’s youth academy: "Livaja is an
interesting lad that I know well because I coached him in the Primavera team.
But he needs to be left alone to continue his development and have time to
become an important player."

Five months have passed since Stramaccioni took the helm at Inter. What has
changed since the beginning of his adventure? "I know the team better as
men and players. Therefore with respect to my first Inter match everything is
now much different," replied the coach. Of course, his responsibilities
have also grown since then: "When I was given the job in April I strongly
wanted to have these responsibilities on 1 August."

The press conference then touched on the subject of preparation: "The
Europe League means a lot to us and we want to go far. But it would have been a
mistake to get to 2 August in top condition when considering the entire season.
This is why Hajduk could play more brilliantly tomorrow, but we knew this and
it’s not an excuse. We’ll have to make up for it with our character. The fact
that Inter may be a bit behind in our conditioning in no way changes our goals.
With the greatest of respect for Hajduk, we’ll try to win this game."

Stramaccioni was then asked whether he had any idea as to why Italian teams
have historically struggled in the Europa League: "To be completely honest
I couldn’t tell you why Italian teams have struggled in the Europa League.
We’re not here to simply participate. We’ll honour this competition with
everything we have, since today it’s our Europe."

Sneijder not in Real talks

The playmaker has been linked with moves away from the Giuseppe Meazza for at least two years and last summer was involved in an almost endless transfer saga with Manchester United.

Real are the latest to be linked with Sneijder, who they sold to Inter in 2009 after the Holland international struggled in a two-year spell at the Bernabeu.

Jose Mourinho is known to be in the market for a creative midfielder and reports have suggested Real are becoming frustrated in their pursuit of Luka Modric.

Big-money offers

Sneijder would be an alternative but his agent insists there have not been any talks, as Soren Lerby told “I have not had any contact with Real Madrid.

“I have no idea whether they have spoken with Inter Milan. You should ask them.”

Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni earlier in July revealed no player is indispensable and said the club would listen to big-money offers for their top stars, which includes Sneijder.

The 28-year-old, who is under contract until 2015, has also been linked with mega-rich Anzhi Makhachkala but has maintained he is committed to Inter.

But asked whether Sneijder will definitely remain at Inter, Lerby said: “As you know in football. Anything can happen.”

UEL, Hajduk Split v Inter: pre-match activities

APPIANO GENTILE – The Nerazzurri set off for Croatia this morning ahead of Hajduk Split v Inter, the first leg of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round to be played tomorrow evening. The pre-match press conference will be held at 17:30 at the Stadion Poljud.

The Nerazzurri’s training session will take place at 18:00, open to the media for 15 minutes.