Zanetti warns Inter to up their game and claim perfect victory against United
10 March 2009 10:26
Inter Milan captain Javier Zanetti has challenged his team-mates to play 'the match of their lives' in Wednesday's Champions League last 16 clash with Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho's side will be missing defenders Nicolas Burdisso and Marco Materazzi, who picked up injuries in Saturday's Serie A 2-0 win at Genoa.
But Zanetti is still confident the Italian side are capable of taming Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League leaders and ending their hopes of landing five trophies this season.
'We will have to play the perfect match because at the moment this isthe match of our lives in the Champions League and we have to send astrong message to everyone,' said the Argentina veteran.
'We won't be playing for a 0-0 draw because if you do that, Manchester will get a goal sooner or later. We'll have to stay in the match throughout and avoid leaving open spaces.'
Inter are buoyed by the form of Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahomivic who opened the scoring on Saturday and set up Mario Balotelli for the second. And Ibrahomivic, 27, is now relishing testing himself against United's in-form defender Nemanja Vidic.
The Swedish star said of United's defensive rock: 'He's a great player, he's done very well so far this year. I'm looking forward to taking on Vidic.
'It's no problem for me to play against the best because that's part of the challenge. Players look forward to big occasions. You have to enjoy them.
'We're very confident. It'll be like a cup tie at Old Trafford. It's win or lose. We have to win or draw to go through, but I don't think that any team really plays for a draw.'