Inter midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu was proud of his teammate’s performance in their 0-0 draw against Porto: ‘We were struggling, but we deserved to go through.’ The Nerazzurri had the benefit of a 1-0 lead from the first leg and despite some late pressure from the Portuguese side, they were able to play out the draw to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2005.
Speaking with InterTV, Sky Sport and Mediaset (as quoted by FCInternews), Calhanonglu emphasised the importance of the team’s effort and dedicated his man of the match award to his teammates for the effort they showed in qualifying:
“I am proud because after so many years we are back in the quarters, this makes me very happy. I am happy, we did a great job. The team suffered until the last minutes, we were struggling but we deserved to go through.
“I expected such a game, it is always difficult here, the atmosphere was fiery and the team very strong. But we worked well, we had a few chances, but it was important to finish without conceding any goals. Now let’s see what will happen. We have to celebrate tonight, but then we’ll see.”
How are you doing in this midfield?
“I always want to give my best, that’s what the coach asks of me. I’m happy that my work continues like this. There is always work to do and to improve, I want to give everything for this club that I really have in my heart. Now we have to celebrate for a while and then immediately think about Juventus.”
“I am proud of the group, it was very difficult, but we knew that. We did well today, it is normal to suffer, it was important to pass the round. This qualification means a lot, we can do even more. It was very difficult to defend in the final minutes, we were very struggling, we did it by defending until the last minute. I dedicate the MVP award to the team.
“It’s a lot of emotions, after so many years we are proud of this goal. Sometimes we made mistakes but we did a great job from the back, it was very difficult but I congratulate the team for the great work. In the Champions League anything can happen, this match gives motivation back. We did a great job, we didn’t score but we took the qualification.”