Simone Inzaghi said Tuesday that he wants Inter Milan to end Italian teams’ dreadful record against Porto as he prepares to host the Portuguese outfit in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Inter are aiming to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2011 but will have to beat a bogey team for Serie A clubs guided by Inzaghi’s former Lazio teammate Sergio Conceicao.
Porto have knocked out six Italian clubs in European competition over the last two decades, most recently finishing a point above AC Milan in the Champions League group stage last season and taking the Europa League spot.
Inzaghi and Conceicao won the league and cup double in 2000 with Lazio, as well as the 1999 European Super Cup, and since retiring as players both are enjoying successful managerial careers.
“He’s (Conceicao) doing really well right now, his team plays a physical and technical game,” Inzaghi told reporters.
“Porto are a really good team, they’ve won 10 games in a row, conceding only two goals.
“In recent years they have done really well against Italian teams, against Milan last season, Roma, Lazio and Juventus. Let’s hope we can turn the tide.”
Inter are in the knockout stages after qualifying from a group which contained the current leaders of La Liga and the Bundesliga.
They took four points from Barcelona to make it through in second place behind Bayern Munich who won all of their Group C matches.
“We are coming into this game with a lot of belief because we got here in an incredible way; on paper Barcelona and Bayern Munich were the teams everyone wanted to avoid,” said Inzaghi.
“You can see what Barca are doing now against Real Madrid who have just been crowned world champions and we know what Bayern are about. Now we’re here, we wanted it so badly and we’re going to give it a go.”