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Derby di Milano: Zanetti Believes Derby Will Be Decisive In Top Four Race

Javier Zanetti believes Sunday’s derby between Inter and Milan will be “a unique experience” and ‘decisive’ for the Champions League.

Inter will extend their lead on Milan to 10 points with victory at San Siro, and Zanetti was under no illusions as to the importance of the inter-city clash.

“I expect further signals of growth in all respects,” the defender-turned-Vice-President told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“A victory would increase the self-esteem of a group that are already showing compactness and totally involved in their new technical course.

“Spalletti dedicates all of himself to work, he’s always on the job and he has a top coaching team behind him.

“He looks in the eyes of the team on every occasion, he’s sincere, loyal and clever. Therefore, the players blindly follow him.

“For us, the team are already at great level technically and we’re convinced that they are solid and complete.

“We want to cause everyone problems this season, and we’re capable of doing that. After that, our main objective is certainly to return to the Champions League.

“The club’s history demands it, and winning on Sunday would give us the taste of our first, big scalp.

“We’re building towards a great future, both as a club and team. The fans can be really calm. Suning is a guarantee in this regard.

“Icardi an icon? He’s not stopped improving while he’s been here. For example, he won a place in the national team, working hard and without being influenced by anything.

“He’s a serious professional, who’s really in love with Inter, and we want to win something important together.

“He attacks the opponents’ goal like Crespo. Hernan was lethal in the penalty area. He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.

“I expect a dangerous Milan, it’s a decisive game for both teams in terms of the Champions League.

“It’ll be a great derby. Playing at San Siro, with 80,000 people in the stands, is a unique experience.

“With Paolo [Maldini], we went on to experience historic, fantastic and full-fledged derbies.

“The world once stopped for Inter-Milan. They’re very sensitive games and there’s great respect between the two teams on and off the field.”

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