Zanetti: "We want Champions League football"

MILAN
– The 17th
edition of the San Siro Gentleman Awards was held at Milan’s Hotel
Marriott
this evening: an annual prize-giving ceremony in which awards are dished
out to Inter and AC Milan players who have distinguished themselves for fair
play, uniting competitive sport with moral values on the pitch.
Inter skipper Javier Zanetti picked up two ‘Gentleman 2012’ accolades to cap a
year which saw him set a new all-time appearance record for the club.
This is what Zanetti had to say before the ceremony:

"We’re working
hard to make that third Champions League berth ours; we want it and we
believe we can get it. There are four games to go and we’ll keep trying until the end.

"800 appearances? It will have to be next season
now: I won’t make it this year because I’ve had to sit out for a while.
But I will at the start of the next campaign because I want to keep
doing my bit for this club. What then? I was asked if I’d like to
work as a director or as a coach and I said as a director, but I
never said I already had my own desk waiting for me.

"We’re
working well with Stramaccioni; he’s brought in enthusiasm and he has
everything he needs to keep going with us. He knows exactly what he wants.
Gasperini and Ranieri? I have respect for both of them, they did
their best but the results didn’t come.

"The
future of Inter? A mix of youth and experience.

"The
Milan derby? We have two games to go and we’ll be up there battling
it out for third place.

"Sneijder
and Alvarez? They were out with injuries for a long time, now they’re
back and they’re helping us with the quality they have.

"What
about Juventus adding a third star to their shirts if they win
another Scudetto this year? If that’s what they want to do then so be
it, there’s no point commenting on it, we’re thinking about
ourselves.

"Have
I spoken to Mourinho? We’ve texted each other, I was very sorry for
him. So was he of course, he really wanted to win it but when it
came down to the luck of penalties things went the way they did. I think we can say that Bayern deserved it though.

"How
am I doing? I’ll try to make it for Sunday but we’ll have to see with
the doctor and the coach.

"Who
would I rather see win the Scudetto, Juventus or AC Milan? I don’t
know, we’re focused on securing Champions League football and on
building a great squad for next year; we’re not thinking about the
others."

Poli: "My future at Inter"

MILAN – Andrea Poli was at the Hotel Marriott in Milan this evening for the San Siro Gentleman awards ceremony – the traditional Milanese event that rewards Inter and AC Milan players who have distinguished themselves for their class and fair play both on and off the pitch. Speaking on the sidelines of the ceremony, the Nerazzurri midfielder – this year’s ‘Gentleman Revelation’ – gave his thoughts on the Serie A run-in: "It was crucial that we beat Udinese and we’re not going to ease up now. Our target is to beat Cesena and win the other three remaining games. We want to keep going because we believe we can get that third spot. All we’re thinking about now is getting as many points on the board as possible between now and the end of the season."

The former Sampdoria man also commented on the impact made by Andrea Stramaccioni: "He’s a very talented coach and extremely determined to do well. He’s brought his ideas onto the pitch and we’re putting them into practice. He’s young but very savvy, he has character and personality, he wants to make a name for himself and we’re all very comfortable with him."

Poli then revealed that his own future "will be at Inter.  I want to carry on as a Nerazzurri player, honouring this shirt and doing my best here," he concluded.

Gentleman 2012: the Nerazzurri protagonists

MILAN
The 17th edition of the San
Siro Gentleman Awards

took place at the Hotel Marriott in Milan this evening, with prizes handed out to Inter and AC
Milan players who have distinguished themselves for their class and
fair play on and off the pitch.

There were plenty of Nerazzurri at the gala event hosted by Claudia Gerini
and Massimo Caputi: players Javier
Zanetti
,
Diego Milito,
Andrea Poli
and Andrea
Ranocchia
,
but also the coach, Andrea
Stramaccioni
,
Signora Bedy
Moratti

and chief executive Ernesto
Paolillo
.

The
winners of this year’s edition of the San Siro Gentleman Awards – which began in 1996 – were voted for by the viewers of Inter
Channel and Milan Channel, with nominations also being made via the
official Gentleman Awards website, Gazzetta.it and TgCom.

Captain Zanetti was named ‘Gentleman Inter 2012’ but also ‘Gentleman Serie A 2012’. Milito
collected the ‘Gentleman Best Goal F.C. Internazionale’ prize for his strike
in the derby win on 15 January and Poli picked up the ‘Gentleman
Revelation’ award.

Stramaccioni was given special recognition for
winning the first edition of the NextGen Series, the U19 Champions
League. On stage alongside chief executive Paolillo, the Nerazzurri coach joked: "Here comes the beneficiary of one of president Moratti’s crazy football ideas [smiling]. I’m here to help these great players who wear the Nerazzurri shirt." Then, more serious, he added: "I’ve always believed we’d be able to see out the season in Inter style and we will, battling until the very end."

There was also a heartfelt moment in memory of Piermario
Morosini: Ranocchia – a friend and former Italy U21 team-mate
of the late Piermario – went up on stage to receive a memorial
plaque.

Among the Nerazzurri awarded, there was also Mario Corso, who went on stage with Bedy Moratti, from whom he received a special Gentleman prize for his contribution in making Italian football great.

F.C. Internazionale Top Sponsor Volvo was the Title Sponsor of the
evening while the event’s mascot was another Interista: young fan Filippo, who therefore had another chance to meet his idols after his visit to Appiano Gentile a few months ago.

Ranocchia: "Third place? Sure we believe"

MILAN – Andrea Ranocchia was among the Nerazzurri players attending the 17th edition of the San Siro Gentleman Awards. He gave an interview as he arrived at the Hotel Marriott ahead of the ceremony: "Third place? We believed in it before and we believe in it even more now. It’s a target that many people said was beyond us but we never wrote off our chances.

"Will Stramaccioni stay next year? That’s up to the president to decide. Certainly the president and the club have shown a lot of belief in him from day one and they were right to do so. He’s a young coach with innovative ideas. He’s injected new life into the team: he’s brought calmness, strengthened us as a unit and also our desire to keep believing until the end. We all get on well with him.

"The Italy team? I hope so. I’ve had a few injuries this year and I haven’t played an awful lot but I hope to make the squad. I’ve spoken to Prandelli and told him that I’m fit now. I feel in good shape and I hope to feature as much as possible between now and the end.

"Do I feel I have what it takes to play for Inter? Yes. Have I ever thought of leaving? No, I want to honour this shirt and I wear with great pride.

"The derby? Let’s focus on the two games we have coming up before then; we’ll worry about the derby later."

Awaiting Prima Serata: Sosa on today’s Inter

APPIANO
GENTILE
– We’re just minutes away from another edition of Prima
Serata
, the Inter Channel programme hosted by Edoardo Caldara. Ruben Sosa was in the studio today and the ex-forward – the divine left-footer from
Montevideo ("left-footed players have a magical touch…") –
shared stories, memories and curiosities, but also spoke about the
present.

"We
beat Udinese, and I say ‘we’ because I’m an Inter fan – even in
when I’m Uruguay I watch all the games. Now you can with them live, unlike in
my day when the videos would arrive two weeks later… We beat Udinese and now we must aim for third place, we must believe we can do
it. I was really impressed by the Inter I saw in Udine: a team
that went looking for goals and played good football."

"Stramaccioni?
He’s a good lad and I can see the Interista in him; by that I mean
that coming from the Primavera he already has the right sense of
belonging. He’s smart on the pitch and in his interviews. Now we have
to move forward with him and give him a hand because he’s convinced about what he does. I watched a couple of his training sessions: they were excellent, intense,
involving."

"Forlan? I’ve spoken to him recently. I think
that he’s had two main problems during his first season here. One is his
position. For the national side he’s always played off of a striker,
whereas here he’s changed positions lots of times and also the type of
football, because Italy is different to Spain. The other problem is that he
didn’t settle into the side immediately: he had a few physical
problems and didn’t get much continuity. But he’s a champion, an
intelligent lad, and he’ll be able to show the Nerazzurri fans how
good he is. Diego has always scored goals and lots of them. And
scoring goals is not a habit you lose."

"Alvarez? I like him and he scored a great goal
against Udinese. What I’d say to him is ‘let yourself go’. I
think he still looks a bit – what’s the word? – as if he’s
holding back. But he has class, quality, and a marvellous left foot.
If you play for Inter you must have self-confidence, you
can’t hold back, you have to do what you’re capable of without restraint."

Finally, some advice on signings. "Inter have
fantastic strikers and the club have their plans, it’s obviously not
my place to tell the president who to buy… But, even though he’s
Uruguayan like me, but that could just be a coincidence, I’d say Suarez, the Liverpool striker. Luis is
such a good player and I think he’ll move on now. If it’s not to Inter,
it will be to Real or Barcelona. He is absolutely top class."

Now tune into channel 232 on Sky Italia for Prima
Serata with Ruben Sosa and Edoardo Caldara.