Zanetti: "Proud of this Inter"

MADRID – Inter captain Javier Zanetti fielded questions from the press at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu ahead of tomorrow night’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

The final is your 700th game for Inter. What’s your secret?
"I am proud to have played so many matches with the same shirt. And to do it in an important match like tomorrow night’s means making history. The secret is lots of hard work and having the faith of all the coaches I have had, training session after training session."

How has Eto’o adapted to the Italian championship. What has impressed you about him?
"It wasn’t easy for Eto’o to adapt. He has been humble and put himself at the service of a group that is still hungry for success. Samuel has been very important for us this year."

Moratti said he hopes Zanetti is the protagonist of the final. Will you score?
"I like what the president said. We have been together for fifteen years, so tomorrow’s match will be very important for us. I’d like to score tomorrow but it doesn’t matter who scores. Our fans have been waiting for this match for many years."

You have played many important games. What’s your feeling ahead of the final?
"It’s a unique feeling. The Champions League is a very prestigious competition. I have had lots of strong emotions this year, and this final will be another one. I have played lots of finals, but this will be a special one."

Were you surprised to be left out of Argentina’s World Cup squad?
"We’re not thinking about Maradona’s selection for the World Cup. We’re only thinking about tomorrow’s great final. I am Argentine so I hope Argentina can do well because they have a good group of players."

After winning the UEFA Cup thirteen years ago, is tomorrow the end of a cycle?
"I don’t want it to be the end of an era tomorrow. I hope I can continue to win a lot."

It’s 45 years since Inter last won this trophy. Is this an extra motivation for you?
"This will certainly give us extra motivation. The Inter fans have been waiting a long time for this match and we will give everything to win it."

How have you prepared for this game?
"With the coach we have studied this match and we go into it in the best possible way. Ribery? He won’t play but we are without Thiago Motta. They are two important players for both teams."

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