Handanovic Revisits Bologna Disaster, Discusses Inter Teammates

Heroic Inter shot-stopper Samir Handanovic was touted to leave ahead of the 2022/23 season on the back of André Onana’s arrival but instead stayed put at the Meazza in order to play his 11th consecutive campaign in the Nerazzurri colors.

The 38-year-old veteran addressed a number of topics in an exclusive interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, including Romelu Lukaku’s return to the club, the signing of Onana, Milan Skriniar’s ongoing saga, and even the fateful day in Bologna that got the Nerazzurri off rails in the Scudetto race.

Starting with Lukaku’s surprising return back to Inter, Handanovic says he knows why exactly the big Belgian’s move to Chelsea for the second time in his career didn’t work out.

“I wasn’t surprised because I saw how he was at Chelsea, I listened to his famous interview, he felt melancholy and nostalgia. You always have to know which locker room you go to and he knew that ours is healthy, cheerful, positive. In life often choices are based on economic reasons, but then well-being always takes over: if you feel good in one place, it is normal that you want to go back.”

Onana’s free transfer seemed to mark the veteran’s end in the Nerazzurri colors, but the African himself denied it by saying: “I respect that Samir is the starter and I will cheer for him from the bench.”

Addressing his comment, he said: “These are important phrases because they give serenity to the environment, but we all know that everyone wants to play: that’s right and healthy. It wouldn’t have surprised me if he’d said the opposite. It’s normal competition, it’s good for everyone.”

The Slovenian then commented on how crucial it is for Skriniar to stay at the club after links with Paris Saint-Germain weakened over the past days.

“Very important, for me it is essential that he stays with us. We cannot lose any more players. I see him every day calm and serene in Appiano.”

Finally, he revisited Inter’s collapse at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, where the visitors succumbed to a 2-1 loss, with Bologna’s second goal arriving by virtue of a deadly error by substitute goalkeeper Ionut Radu.

“It was a huge displeasure and bitterness, but it’s life. And a season never depends on a match. I didn’t tell him (Radu) anything that night, I spoke to him the next day. I told him that the error will make him grow as a goalkeeper, but as a man above all. Ionut must know that he will make mistakes, like everyone else, but that he has the opportunity to demonstrate his qualities.”

Handanovic has 439 caps with Inter since making his debut in the 2012/13 season, pitting him in 11th place just outside Inter’s top-ten all-time appearance makers.