Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi described his team’s run to the Champions League semifinals as a dream and said it will give it all his boys have got against city rival AC Milan as both sides battle to become the first Italian finalist in six years.
Inzaghi could not hide his excitement after his team drew 3-3 with Benfica in its second leg on Wednesday to win the quarterfinal 5-3 on aggregate, reaching the Champions League semis for the first time since it won the trophy 13 years ago.
“My boys? They were historic,” Inzaghi told Inter TV when asked about his players’ performance.
“It’s historic, because of what they are doing, reaching both the Champions League and Coppa Italia semi-finals.
“We know that some points were left on the road in the Italian league, but it’s most because of a crazy schedule.
“When we were drawn in a group with Bayern and Barcelona back in August, we were very, very far away.”
Inter won Europe’s top club competition for the third time in 2010 and was the last Italian side to triumph with Juventus losing the 2015 and 2017 finals.
The Milan teams have met twice in the Champions League knockout stages, the 2002-03 semis and 2004-05 quarterfinals with AC Milan, the seven-time European champion, winning both ties.
“We deserved to reach this semi-final. It was a dream but now we’re here and we’ll play it big,” said Inzaghi, whose side reached the knockouts by coming through a group that also included Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
“I’m happy for the lads and their journey. We started from a very difficult group with Bayern and Barca but we were good, united together with the fans, who helped us a lot.
“We work every day to live these days that have been missing here at Inter for many years. We know what this derby represents for everyone here. We are happy and we will play it in the best way.”
Inter and AC Milan will clash at the San Siro in the first leg on May 10 and on May 16 in the second leg. The winner will face Real Madrid or Manchester City, who meets in the semifinals for the second consecutive season.
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