'We are not afraid' – Zanetti relishes Inter's Champions League challenge against Bayern and Barcelona

By Sports Desk August 25, 2022

Bayern Munich and Barcelona await Inter in the Champions League group stage, but Nerazzurri vice-president Javier Zanetti insists his side are "not afraid" of the challenge.

UEFA's flagship club competition has provided a headline reunion with new Barca arrival Robert Lewandowski returning to his former side Bayern in Group C.

The draw of the Poland talisman revisiting the Allianz Arena remains the standout pick of the group-stage clashes, with Inter and Viktoria Plzen the other two sides to compete alongside the European giants.

Simone Inzaghi's side pushed Liverpool close in the round-of-16 clash last season and, despite falling to the Reds, Zanetti insists the Nerazzurri will take a no-fear approach to their draw alongside Bayern and Barca.

"It is a difficult, complicated group, with two teams that know how to play very well in this competition," Zanetti told Sky Sport Italia when asked about facing the two European heavyweights. 

"The Champions League is a competition of details, with the best in the world. We are there and we will play it.

"It is a challenge to face these teams now. Bayern is a team that has consolidated, Barca has found balance with Xavi, we want to give continuity to last year's progress.

"We are not afraid, only respect, I believe that Inter will be ready and prepared."

While the prospect of locking horns with Barca and Bayern may prove daunting, Inter and Zanetti have fond memories of facing both sides in Europe's premier club competition.

Indeed the Nerazzurri, then managed by Jose Mourinho, overcame the Blaugrana 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals, before seeing off the German giants 2-0 to lift the trophy in 2009-10 – a feat that Zanetti hopes his side can repeat.

"Yes, it's a good memory that came to mind," the Argentine said as he discussed that victorious campaign.

"This is another story, football has changed. We will prepare our matches in the best possible way; we are growing and we proved it last season. We will try again this year."

Related items

  • Xavi wants Barcelona to make defensive improvements against Sevilla Xavi wants Barcelona to make defensive improvements against Sevilla

    Barcelona boss Xavi wants his side to defend better as they prepare for their LaLiga clash with Sevilla on Friday.

    Barca are currently unbeaten in the league so far this term but have conceded four goals in their last two games, coming from behind to beat Celta Vigo 3-2 before a 2-2 draw with Mallorca.

    Despite their recent defensive flaws, Xavi’s side have scored 18 goals, which is the joint most in the division alongside league leaders Girona.

    The Barca boss acknowledged those differences but thinks his side have to improve at the back.

    He said: “We might not be as brilliant in defence as we were last season.

    “We need to improve our pressure after losing the ball, press higher up the pitch, concentrate a bit harder.

    “But we have got better up front. We created six clear chances against Mallorca and I think that’s good baggage.”

    The Catalan giants will face a Sevilla side who, after a tough start to the campaign, are starting to show their true colours and are currently unbeaten in three.

    Xavi praised their opponents on Friday and has called on the home fans to be the 12th man.

    He added: “Sevilla are the defending Europa League champions and a difficult team to play.

    “They’re solid, they like to play down the wings and play a direct, vertical game. But we’re at home.

    “We need the fans and the atmosphere at Montjuic to get back on the winning track.”

    A win for Barcelona could take them top of the league temporarily before the top two, Girona and Real Madrid, face each other on Saturday.

    Xavi is not surprised by how well current league leaders Girona are doing.

    He continued: “It’s no surprise to me because they have been doing things well at that club for several years.”

  • Rusea’s remain undefeated to lead Zone B; Frome, STETHS, William Knibb secure big wins Rusea’s remain undefeated to lead Zone B; Frome, STETHS, William Knibb secure big wins

    Zone B action in the ISSA/WATA DaCosta Cup saw Rusea’s and Frome Technical both secure wins on Wednesday.

    Former champions Rusea’s maintained their perfect record after five games with a 4-0 home win over Cambridge High while Frome secured a comfortable 7-0 win over Merlene Ottey to move to nine points from four games in second.

    In Zone A, Cornwall College moved to 13 points from their five outings with a 2-0 win over St. James High at Jarrett Park. Irwin High are close behind them in second with 11 points from five games as well after their own 2-0 win over Maldon at home. Spot Valley and Green Pond played out a 1-1 draw in the zone’s other game.

    In Zone C, William Knibb secured a massive 8-0 win over Discovery Bay while Browns Town beat Ferncourt 7-1. William Knibb are currently third in the Zone with nine points from five games, one behind York Castle and three behind zone leaders, Cedric Titus. York Castle lost 2-4 to Ocho Rios on Tuesday while Cedric Titus beat Aubuthnott Gallimore 10-2.

    STETHS moved to 13 points from five games in Zone E after a massive 9-1 win over Sydney Pagon. Munro College trail the former champions by two points after securing a 7-0 win over Roger Clarke on Tuesday. Elsewhere in the zone, Lacovia and Maggotty played out a 1-1 draw.

    In a pair of Zone I clashes, St, Mary High got the better of St. Mary Tech 3-2 while Wycliffe Martin High secured a 5-0 win over Carron Hall High. Wycliffe Martin and St. Mary High are currently fourth and fifth in the zone with seven and six points, respectively. Tacky High (13 points from five games), Annotto Bay (12 points from five games) and Horace Clarke (10 points from four games) occupy the top three spots.

    Morant Bay High maintained their perfect record in Zone K after four games with a 4-2 win over Robert Lightbourne.

     

     

     

  • KC strengthen lead atop Group A; Mona, JC, Haile Selassie also secure wins KC strengthen lead atop Group A; Mona, JC, Haile Selassie also secure wins

    Kingston College now have five wins from as many games as action continued in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup on Wednesday.

    KC, who initially opened their season with an 0-4 defeat to Hydel before that result was overturned to a 3-0 win after it was deemed that their opponents used an ineligible player, defeated Charlie Smith 1-0 to move to 15 points from their five outings, six points ahead of Calabar in second and nine ahead of Hydel in third. Charlie Smith also have six points in fourth.

    Elsewhere in Group B, defending champions Jamaica College secured a 2-1 win over Kingston Technical to move to the top of the group with nine points from four games, two points ahead of Tivoli in second and three ahead of Kingston Technical in third.

    Group C action saw Haile Selassie continue their winning ways, moving to 15 points from five games with a 1-0 win over Eltham. The other game in the group saw Dunoon Technical defeat Denham Town 3-2 for their first win of the season.

    In Group E, Mona High hammered Edith Dalton 6-0 to move to five wins out of five.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.