Cambiasso has extra motivation

Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso has promised to help

deliver Champions League football to the San Siro in tribute to his

stricken compatriot Diego Milito.

Inter’s hopes of securing a top-three place in Serie A hit a

major snag when the 33-year-old striker suffered season-ending

ligament damage in Thursday’s Europa League victory over Cluj.

Cambiasso, however, feels his team-mates have been given extra

incentive to chase Lazio out of third place – a mission that

continues at Fiorentina on Sunday night.

“We just have to think about the games ahead of us,” Cambiasso

told inter.it. “But what happened to my team-mate, who is also my

friend and my brother, does hurt. We all feel his pain.

“It’s normal that he’s disappointed and it’s not a

straightforward injury, but I am calm because he know much he wants

to get through it.

“We now have an even greater responsibility to earn our friend

the Champions League football that he deserves. We are always

trying to go above and beyond.

“But we need continuity before we can start talking about ‘the

real Inter’. We need to fight to achieve the goals we initially set

ourselves and we can only do that through finding continuity in our

performances.”

Next Sunday sees Inter bid to do the double over city rivals AC

Milan in the second Derby della Madonnina of the season.

Cambiasso is urging caution, though, with an energy-sapping trip

to Romania calling shortly after tomorrow’s exertions in

Tuscany.

He added: “There are two games before the derby. It’s a long way

off even if the fans think it is close. It may be our next home

game, but we’re taking each game as it comes.”

Fiorentina also started the season with European ambitions but

Vincenzo Montella’s men have slipped down to sixth place having

picked up only four points from six games.

La Viola should be boosted by the inclusion of Mohamed Sissoko,

who could make a delayed debut after helping Mali to third place at

the African Nations Cup.

The on-loan Paris St Germain midfielder said: “I liked what the

club had to say. I wanted to get back to playing and so I decided

to come and play for Fiorentina.

“The club convinced me right away. I’m not yet 100 per cent fit

but I feel ready to play. The plan is to get into the Champions

League and I think we can do it. I will give my all to help us get

there.”