Simone Inzaghi has congratulated Milan and Napoli on joining his Inter side in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and says it is “a huge step” for Serie A.
Italy’s top flight will have three representatives in the last eight of the competition for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.
With Juventus and Roma also through in the Europa League and Fiorentina progressing in the Europa Conference League, six Italian clubs are through to the quarters of UEFA competitions for the third time ever after the 1998-99 and 1990-91 seasons.
Inzaghi, whose Inter side will face Benfica over two legs in the next round, believes it can only be a good thing for Italian football when their teams hold their own on the continent.
“We all played great games,” he said at a press conference on Saturday. “I have to congratulate Milan and Napoli - they deserved it like us. So too did Roma, Juventus and Fiorentina.
“There are six teams through, which is a huge step. Now we must all continue, because the more we go on, the better it is for our country.” Two of Serie A’s European representatives face off at San Siro on Sunday in a game that could potentially have huge repercussions in the top-four race.
Second-place Inter are 12 points better off than Juventus in seventh, but the Bianconeri are said to be optimistic about overturning a 15-point deduction imposed on them in January.
That could change the complexion of the higher echelons of Serie A, and Inzaghi hopes a decision is soon made by the authorities one way or another.
“I look at the standings, but we are aware there are legal proceedings ongoing,” Inzaghi said. “I hope that we find out soon because the teams need clarity.” Inter have lost three of their past six Serie A matches after their Champions League games, including their last two against Bologna and Juventus in the reverse match.
Juventus, by comparison, have won each of their last six league games after European matches.
“We are thinking only of tomorrow’s game,” Inzaghi said. “Now that we have obtained qualification, we have this final game of an intense period.”
“The players are feeling fatigued and we have injuries, but we intend to not look back and think only of the next game.” Inter lost the reverse fixture against Juve 2-0 and are aiming to avoid losing both games against their Derby d’Italia rivals for the first time since the 2019-20 season.