Monday, January 30, 2023

´I´ll turn 22 soon!´ – Dzeko still feeling young after inspiring Inter to silverware

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Jan 2023

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Edin Dzeko joked he feels like a 21-year-old again after playing a starring role in Inter’s Supercoppa Italiana victory over Milan in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international became the competition’s oldest goalscorer, overtaking Cristiano Ronaldo, with his well-taken strike in Inter’s 3-0 triumph.

He had earlier played in Nicolo Barella with a delightful pass for the midfielder to tee up Federico Dimarco in a display that landed him the sponsors’ man of the match award.

Dzeko turns 37 in March and is due to be out of contract at San Siro at the end of the campaign, but the veteran striker is not thinking about his future for now.

“That’s not for today,” he told Sport Mediaset. “We’re happy for the fans because we deserved this win. Today we’ll celebrate and then we can think about everything else.”

Asked to confirm his age after rolling back the years, Dzeko laughed and said: “I’ll be 22 soon!”

Lautaro Martinez profited from some more sloppy Milan defending – with Fikayo Tomori in particular at fault – to seal an emphatic Derby della Madonnina victory in Saudi Arabia.

Inter’s win was their first over their fierce rivals in a final in what was the third such meeting, with Milan previously prevailing in the 2011 Supercoppa and the 1977 Coppa Italia.

Milan pipped Inter to the Serie A title last season, but Dzeko does not consider the victory at King Fahd International Stadium as any sort of revenge.

“That isn’t the case,” he said. “I always prefer to look ahead, just like everyone in the team. We won a cup today, one we already knew how good it is to win.

“We prepared well for the game and went onto the pitch with the aim of winning it. We played a great game and gave everything from the first minute until the last.

“I’m delighted to bring another cup home and hopefully there will be more in the future.”

Having defeated Juventus 12 months ago, Inter retained the trophy and are now level with Milan on seven Supercoppa triumphs – within two of record-holders Juve.

Simone Inzaghi is now a four-time winner of the competition as a coach – twice with Inter and twice with Lazio – which tied the record with Marcello Lippi and Fabio Capello.

Reflecting on his latest success, Inzaghi said: “The lads had the perfect approach today, always sharp and focused. We need to enjoy this as beating Milan in a final is wonderful.

“Our first target for the season was to get through the group stage of the Champions League; the second was winning this trophy. It is pleasing for a coach to witness this.”

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