Samir Handanovic has waited eight years for trophy success with Inter and is determined not to let the latest chance pass him by.
The goalkeeper and captain of Antonio Conte’s team will be tasked with keeping Sevilla out in Friday’s Europa League final.
He arrived from Udinese in 2012 with high hopes of being regularly in the hunt for silverware, but the Slovenian has endured a frustrating wait.
Inter’s painfully barren run could come to an end in Cologne, and Handanovic says it could be the “starting point” for a bountiful era.
“When I joined Inter it was to be involved in finals such as these, but unfortunately the situation that occurred in the last few years wasn’t the best,” Handanovic told a news conference.
“But we’ve now got to the stage where we can once again compete for significant milestones.
“I think this should simply be a starting point. Matches such as these need to become a habit for Inter, just as they were 10 to 15 years ago.
“Inter should always be looking to play in finals, compete for trophies and league titles.
“Now we’ve got to the stage where we can actually compete for significant milestones, not only tomorrow but the day after too and a month from now.
“That’s why I’m proud to be here today. That said, even when I joined the club my idea was always to try and play and compete to win trophies.”
Handanovic, at the age of 36, will hope to continue to play a key role in Conte’s plans for Inter.
He says the bond in the squad has been a fundamental factor behind their achievements, with a runner-up finish in Serie A indicating they are moving rapidly in the right direction.
“We really like being together as a squad and wins naturally help as well,” Handanovic said.
“All of the team have shown desire to work hard and go the extra mile for each other and try to win matches.
“Ultimately it’s not only about producing a good performance or doing what the head coach has done.
“Occasionally you need to read the match and the way it’s going yourself and understand it, and that’s where we’ve really improved.
“We’ve enjoyed spending time together from day one this season. We’re a solid strong group of players and we really are together.”
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