Onana: ‘Handanovic a giant, I take inspiration from Neuer’

Andre Onana reflected on the early stages of his life with Inter and Cameroon’s ambitions at the World Cup in Qatar.

The 26-year-old Cameroonian shot stopper joined the Nerazzurri on a free transfer in the summer, signing a five-year deal. Onana is set to become the long term replacement for Samir Handanovic and was left on the bench in favour of the veteran for the first eight Serie A games. He is now a regular feature under Simone Inzaghi and looks solid between the posts. 

Speaking to SportWeek, Onana first discussed his goalkeeping inspirations and thoughts on Handanovic.

“Handanovic is a giant, I take my hat off to him. He always helps me and advises me. I am a modern goalkeeper, I go out, take many risks and play with my feet. 

“As a child I dreamed watching Buffon and Casillas’ miracles, but the greatest is Neuer, he does crazy things, I take inspiration from him.”

He commented on life with Inter, what’s surprised him and what he likes about the city of Milan.

“Calhanoglu and Dimarco kick divinely. The first time I saw Barella, I said to Lukaku, ‘But he is a monster!’ 

“The Inter fans are incredible, when Romelu started warming up against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League at the San Siro, the ground trembled under my feet, I’ve never seen such love. 

“Now they’re starting to love me too. Milan is a magnificent city, all that’s missing is the sea. I’m African and black, I live among whites respecting the rules.”

Finally, Onana discussed Cameroon’s World Cup loss to Switzerland and their hopes for the tournament.

“The defeat against Switzerland is already behind us, Eto’o came to the locker room to encourage us. 

“Embolo is Cameroonian? It’s the football of our times, it’s not nationality that counts, but quality. I swapped shirts with him, there’s respect between us. Life brought him to Switzerland, as I ended up in Spain. 

“Head high for the upcoming challenges with Serbia and Brazil at the World Cup, the goal is to qualify for the Round of 16. For us, the dream remains alive, intact and attainable.”

The 26-year-old Onana has made 13 appearances across all competitions this season for Inter, keeping five clean sheets and conceding 16 goals. 

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