The Brazilian says Saturday’s game against Parma is a “final”, while admitting that he is also currently being driven by the prospect of a “magical” World Cup on home soil
Inter midfielder Hernanes believes that not making next season’s Europa League would constitute “failure” for a club that he feels capable of fighting for the Scudetto “inside two years”.
The Nerazzurri currently occupy fifth place in Serie A but are just two points ahead of Parma, whom they face away from home this weekend, while there is a chasing pack of three teams only three points behind the Gialloblu.
Consequently, while even sixth is almost certain to guarantee Europa League football next season, given third-placed Napoli are playing fourth-placed Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia final, Hernanes is treating the trip to the Ennio Tardini as a game Inter cannot afford to lose.
“The game against Parma will be a final,” the Brazil international told Tuttosport. “To not qualify for Europe would, for me, be a failure.
“Inter, technically, are very strong. We must, however, find consistency in the little details that have tripped us up too many times, particularly at San Siro.”
Despite the fact that there has been so much upheaval at Appiano Gentile this season, with Walter Mazzarri arriving as coach last summer before Erick Thohir completed his takeover of the club in October, Hernanes still has no doubts that he made the right choice in leaving Lazio for Inter in January.
“This year has been unique because at the start there was great uncertainty around the new project,” the 28-year-old mused.
“Much will depend on how we finish the season. If we do it in a certain way, it will give confidence to us and to the fans on the correctness of the chosen path.
“I am convinced that in two years we can be back fighting for the title … I came here to win the Scudetto, that great trophy that I’m lacking to make me feel complete.
“I experienced great emotions at Lazio winning the Coppa Italia with a derby win in the final.
“I had wanted to win the Scudetto in Rome, as there it would have been something even greater and more historic.
“However, I understood that it would not be possible and I decided to accept the offer from Inter.”
Hernanes is also hoping to finish the season as strongly as possible in order to secure a place in the Brazil squad for this summer’s World Cup and he freely admits that he is getting a little nervous – just because representing his country on home soil in the game’s grandest tournament means so much to him.
“I’m not worried, but neither am I calm,” the Recife native confessed. “This World Cup, for someone of my age … it has been a life project.
“Everything a person of my generation does has been programmed by the desire to reach the very top level for this tournament.
“A World Cup at home for a Brazilian is a unique event. It’s magical. To have the opportunity to play in it … it would be a blessing.”
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