Inter Milan striker Diego Milito,
publicly criticised by his club president last week for his
ability to conjure up unbelievable misses, hopes Wednesday's
winner against Lille will finally end his nightmare period.
Since scoring 30 goals in Inter's treble winning campaign
two seasons ago, Milito has been plagued by injuries and his
form and confidence have suffered with it.
He hit the net only eight times last season and, despite the
departure of Samuel Eto'o, began this term down the pecking
order behind new signings Diego Forlan and Mauro Zarate.
Last week, club president Massimo Moratti singled out the
32-year-old for criticism following a miss against Atalanta
that according to newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport "defied the
laws of physics."
"We were missing something in attack. I don't think [Milito]
was in great form," Moratti said.
Having missed another sitter at the start of the second half
on Wednesday, Milito finally hit the target midway through the
period, thanks largely to an inspired run by his captain Javier
"Setting up his goal was like scoring myself," said
38-year-old Zanetti, after Inter's Champions League 2-1 win.
"Strikers get periods like this, periods when you do
everything right and others when you can't do anything properly,
but Diego is working so hard for the team, he makes sacrifices
and he deserved this goal.
Milito, scorer of both goals in the 2010 Champions League
final win over Bayern Munich, said: "I sincerely hope that with
this goal my bad spell is now behind me and they'll start coming
for me again.
"You have to know how to keep calm, keep your nerve and make
sure you don't get too affected by it because it can mess you
up," added Milito, described as the symbol of his team's win by
coach Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri is now hoping that Inter, who have won their last
three Champions League games and top Group B, can carry their
European form into Serie A, where they are languishing in 17th
place with only two wins in nine games.
The former Chelsea, Juventus and AS Roma coach, the fourth
man to occupy the host seat at Inter since Jose Mourinho's
departure in mid 2010, said Wednesday's performance had
convinced him that he had the right squad.
"This side has its pride and its feelings," said Ranieri,
whose side must bounce back from last Saturday's home defeat
against Juventus when they visit Genoa on Sunday.
"They fought hard and it's not true that they fight harder
in Europe than in the league: at the moment a "yes-no" ball
becomes a "yes" ball in the Champions League, but it will soon
be like that in the league too.
"We must carry the good things we're doing in Europe back
into Serie A and get a run of results going."
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