Handanovic: ‘Inter my university’

by | Mar 27, 2016 13:34

Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic says Inter is 'his football university', whilst refusing to give up on the Champions League objective.

The Nerazzurri are five points behind third-placed Roma, and they will have to close that gap in a short time if they are to qualify for the elite European tournament.

Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic says Inter is 'his football university', whilst refusing to give up on the Champions League objective.

The Nerazzurri are five points behind third-placed Roma, and they will have to close that gap in a short time if they are to qualify for the elite European tournament.

“There are still eight games to go and anything can happen,” he told Tuttosport. “Everyone has a drop in their performance at some point in the championship. It happened to us in January, when many games were scheduled.

“Unfortunately the points we lost there had a bad effect on us. Maybe back then we should have contented ourselves with drawing some of the games.

“In any case the championship showed that Juventus and Napoli have something extra compared to us, and that we are in the small group just behind them. We should also bear in mind that we have 13 new players in our squad.”

The goalkeeper was then asked what his greatest joy and his greatest regret in football were.

“The joy was qualifying for the World Cup with Slovenia. We surprised everyone. The regret was the Champions League preliminary that we lost to Arsenal back when I was at Udinese.

“We'd reached third place in the championship but that team wasn't allowed to compete in those two games, because three players were sold and none were signed.

“The Champions League is still an objective, not an obsession. Who am I grateful to? [Adriano] Bonaiuti, my Coach. I met him in Udine and he believed in me from the first day. Adriano improved me in every way, and I wanted to take him to Inter as soon as I could.

“Gianluigi Buffon as the world's best goalkeeper? There are so many goalkeepers around the world, and each has his own strengths.”

Goalkeepers struggle to win the Ballon D'Or prize, but Handanovic took it philosophically.

“It's in the nature of this role: the goalkeeper defends while everyone's looking at the strikers. How can you deny the prize to people like [Leo] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, who score sixty goals per year?

“A goalkeeper should make three important saves per game, but perhaps even that isn't enough. Besides, every nation has their own school of goalkeepers, and a #1 that seems sensational in Italy may not seem that way to the Spaniards and the English.

“The record of stopped penalties? I never cared much for it, but I've been playing in the championship for many years, and if I break it then that's going to be good. I'm not fixed on it.

“My development felt like going to school: primary, secondary and high school. Now Inter is my university.

“I started out with teams in which you're allowed to develop slowly, building one brick at a time. [Milan's Gianluigi] Donnarumma, by contrast, went from the youth team straight to the senior squad. If a guy is strong, then he's strong.

“My model? Peter Schmeichel.”

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