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Inter Striker Speaks On His Struggle With Fitness As Ancelotti Reveals His Connection With The Club

Written By Onyeka Daniel

The European Championship is set to kick off in a few days in Germany and for one of the participating countries, Austria, while they might not be one of favorites to lift the trophy, they’re definitely not there to make up the numbers either, according to their striker, Marko Arnautovic.

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The Inter Milan forward opened up about facing his Inter teammates at Euro 2024, his ‘demanding’ year with the Nerazzurri and his response to doubts about his fitness. The 35-year-old returned to the Milanese club on a two-year loan from Bologna last summer, giving him another chance at the club after his season on loan back in the 2009-10 campaign.


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Arnautovic was mostly used as a rotation option by Simone Inzaghi, regularly coming off the bench for Inter in the closing stages of matches. He performed moderately well, scoring seven goals and providing three assists across 34 appearances.Speaking to Heute, Arnautovic first discussed Austria’s hopes at the upcoming European Championship.

“We can surprise anyone, even France. But we have the greatest respect. This is a world class team. There is no one there who you’d say will be easy. They are one of the favourites for the European Championship.

“But we are not at the European Championship as sparring partners or to go on vacation. 75% of our team live in Germany. They know very well what it’s like to play there.”He was asked If he’d placed any bets on the match against France, considering that he’s facing Inter teammates Benjamin Pavard and Marcus Thuram.

“Of course we talked about it in the dressing room. Especially with Marcus Thuram. But there are no bets, not even with Dumfries, as was claimed. Everyone wants to win for their country. “We are ready. There are now three days left to calm down, to rest and to spend time with the family. June 17th is the day.”

Arnautovic commented on how he improved at Inter this season. “Yes, you can say that. As a person. Football is about talent, and also about the body, but the most important thing is the mental aspect. The last year was very demanding for me mentally. “I was injured twice. The Italians said: ‘Why are you bringing in Arnautovic? He’s always injured.’

“But I wasn’t injured very often. I had an edema on my bone. That’s not an injury, that’s stress.” Finally, Arnautovic touched on how he dealt with his hamstring issue and the role he played under Inzaghi. “The muscular aspect was tough this year. I was used to playing from the start and playing all the games. Then I had a different job, coming in for 15, 20, 30 minutes. I had to get used to it. My body adjusted to it.

“When that happened, I got injured again. It’s difficult. I’m still happy. When I played from the start, I scored. We won almost everything. Inter make everyone better. I still have a year there and I still have a lot to do.” He further added. Austria were placed in a tough group, the group D that also has Poland, Netherlands and France.

Meanwhile…

Carlo Ancelotti revealed he used to support Inter in his childhood and compares Jurgen Klopp to Arrigo Sacchi saying that sometimes ‘obsession prevails.’Ancelotti made headlines recently when he revealed in an interview with Il Giornale that his Real Madrid side would not participate in the 2025 Club World Cup, a statement he has now denied, saying that his words were misinterpreted.

The Italian tactician said more during the same interview, including that he used to support Inter when he was a kid because Sandro Mazzola was his idol. “One day my cousin Amedeo Curioni returned from Milan and gifted me an Inter jersey,” said Ancelotti. “At that moment, I became a Nerazzurri fan. Mazzola was the footballer of dreams and I liked Boninsegna as well.”

However, Ancelotti made history with Real Madrid and Milan, winning the Champions League five times as a coach. Twice with the Rossoneri and three times with the La Liga giants. “Madrid is special and Milan is my heart,” continued the coach. “I played [for Milan] and became their coach. It’s a big slice of my professional life. Real is Real. What’s better? There is respect for history; all the current and past footballers have a picture at the training centre.”

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Real Madrid have already announced the signing of Kylian Mbappé on a free transfer, while Toni Kroos will retire after the Euros. “Unfortunately, Kroos has decided to stop. He is German when it comes to making decisions, but he will continue living in Madrid. I’ve already told him that, if he changes his mind in Autumn, he can give me a call and start again.”

Ancelotti was sacked by Bayern Munich in 2017 and Napoli in 2020 and told Il Giornale that “when the professional relationship falls apart, it’s better to part ways without controversies or disputes.” Ancelotti was also asked his thoughts on the situation of some notable colleagues, such as Massimiliano Allegri, José Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Maurizio Sarri who have all left their clubs although in different circumstances.

“The Klopp case is meaningful,” noted Ancelotti. “When pressure continues and the weight of responsibility becomes excessive, obsession prevails. The same had happened to Arrigo Sacchi.” He further added. There are varying reports that he could be entering his final season with the Spanish side as he targets a return to Italy or even retiring.

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