Leonardo aims for cup boost

Leonardo wants Inter Milan to carry momentum into the Coppa Italia final with a win against Catania in the last match of the Serie A season.Inter have already surrendered their championship title to cross-city rivals Milan, but did at least manage European Cup qualification by claiming second place.

While they have nothing to play for in the league, Inter can retain the Coppa Italia trophy if they beat Palermo on May 29.

And Leonardo wants his players to go into the final at the Stadio Olimpico on the back of a last-day home victory over visitors Catania.

“Tomorrow’s game must be faced with the right concentration, as we want to keep improving ahead of the Coppa Italia Final against Palermo,” Leonardo said ahead of Sunday’s match.

“Good performances lead to others, so we want to win.”

Inter will be without Esteban Cambiasso after the defensive midfielder suffered a thigh injury on Saturday.

Depending on the severity of the problem, he could be in doubt for Argentina’s Copa America campaign starting in July.

“Cambiasso had a problem in training today and we need to evaluate how serious it is,” Leonardo said.

“Julio Cesar has a back injury and cannot play.”

“(Wesley) Sneijder hasn’t recovered totally yet, while Maicon is suspended for the Coppa Italia and so we need to see players who can take part next week.”

Leonardo’s future at Inter remains uncertain after they failed to win the Scudetto for the first time since 2006.

The team also suffered an embarrassing 7-3 aggregate defeat at the hands of Schalke that ended their defence of the Champions League.

“I am just a coach,” Leonardo said.

“I feel in sync with the club, but President Massimo Moratti and his directors make the decisions. If I can contribute, then I am here.”

Leonardo also hailed the influence of his Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o who has scored 21 goals this season.

“Well, Eto’o has been extraordinary if we consider what he’s done over the recent years and not only the league wins, the Champions League wins and the goal he scored in the final, but also considering what he’s done this season,” he said.

“The numbers are clear – they confirm him as undoubtedly one of the best players in the world.”

“At the moment he is in better shape and he has been greatly rewarded this season.”

“Consider the number of goals he scored, but also the different ways he played, because that’s another important quality he has: he plays in any role and works hard and sometimes that isn’t so easy.”

 


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