Handanovic: ‘Shakhtar strongest rivals yet’

Samir Handanovic says Shakhtar Donetsk are ‘the strongest side we’ve faced so far’ in the Europa League, as Inter step up a level in the semi-final.

It kicks off on Monday at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT) in Dusseldorf, the winner going on to meet Manchester United or Sevilla in the Final.

“The level keeps going up with every game and that means we need a better performance than last time,” said the goalkeeper in his press conference and on Sky Sport Italia.

Samir Handanovic says Shakhtar Donetsk are ‘the strongest side we’ve faced so far’ in the Europa League, as Inter step up a level in the semi-final.

It kicks off on Monday at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT) in Dusseldorf, the winner going on to meet Manchester United or Sevilla in the Final.

“The level keeps going up with every game and that means we need a better performance than last time,” said the goalkeeper in his press conference and on Sky Sport Italia.

The Nerazzurri beat Getafe and Bayer Leverkusen by 2-1 scorelines, whereas Shakhtar Donetsk flattened FC Basel 4-1 in their quarter-final.

“Shakhtar are a step above the other opponents and the strongest side we’ve faced so far in this competition. We have a quality team, but we also need courage and solidity to get the better of Shakhtar Donetsk.

“Getafe were a very different type of team, Bayer Leverkusen have more similarities in their attacking approach, even if the tactical system is different.”

In their first season under Antonio Conte, Inter finished second in Serie A with 82 points, reached the Coppa Italia semi-final and are in the Europa League semi-final.

“We’ve been working together for a year and you can really tell,” added Handanovic.

“The more we play together, the better we do. There are some mechanisms we rely on when playing, those are honed over time, just as confidence and enthusiasm also grow. I can’t wait to play tomorrow.”

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