Seongnam are tough but we are Inter, says Benitez

ABU DHABI - Inter Milan manager Rafael Benitez said that Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma FC would be tough opponents but sent out a warning that they are “Inter”.

By James Jose

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Published: Wed 15 Dec 2010, 12:12 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:58 AM

UEFA Champions League winners Inter Milan take on AFC Champions Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma FC in the semifinal of the FIFA Club World Cup at the Zayed Sports City on Wednesday night.

Inter Milan are straight into the semifinal, while Korean club Seongnam came through after a quarterfinal win over UAE Pro-League champions Al Wahda.

“It is clear that they (Seongnam) played very well to reach the semifinal. They are strong and capable. They will be tough opponents but we are Inter,” Benitez said after a training session at the Zayed Sports City on Tuesday. But Benitez said that they were looking at it as one game at a time. “We are not thinking too far ahead. The most important game is the first game. We will put up a good team against Seongnam. We are here to win and we must win the first game. If we win, we will think about the final,” he said.

Despite poor results in the Serie A and the Champions League, the former Liverpool manager said that the squad was in a positive frame of mind for the tournament. “The team is playing at their best. The environment is positive and it will be positive for this game. We had a good training session and everybody is cheerful and looking forward to the game,” said Benitez.

He said that they viewed the Club World Cup as an important competition and they have an eye on it even as they competed domestically and the Champions League.

“The team was looking at winning each game, be it the Italian Super Cup, the Champions League. But all the players were thinking about the Club World Cup too. It is an important tournament for us,” he said.

Benitez said that going by the squad and the talent at his disposal, Inter could reach the final. “We have a strong team and we are convinced that we can win the semifinal,” Benitez said.

Benitez was pleased with the progress of his striker Diego Milito, who is returning from an injury lay-off and indicated that the Argentine could play on Wednesday.

“I feel calm and content and after seeing (Diego) Milito scoring in training, I think we are strong,” he said.

There have been rumours linking another Argentine Carlos Tevez to a move to Inter from Manchester City. But Benitez didn’t go into it and said: “We are in the middle of a competition and I cannot talk about players who are not here.”

james@khaleejtimes.com


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