Final against Manchester City last job De Vrij at Inter? ‘Not sure yet if I’ll stay’
De Vrij: ‘After the final there will be more clarity about my future’
Inter may not be Manchester City’s most obvious opponent in the Champions League final, but Stefan de Vrij is not surprised that his club will face Istanbul on Saturday night (9 p.m.).
“I think we forced it,” said the 31-year-old defender. “We survived a very difficult group stage. Every round after that we deserved to go further.”
Admittedly, even De Vrij had not immediately thought of the final in a group with Barcelona and Bayern Munich. “Anyway, you try to do it step by step, round by round. We managed to do that. Now it’s time to reap and I’m convinced it can be done.”
City much better?
Asked if English champion and fresh FA Cup winner Manchester City is not much better than Inter, De Vrij replied, “In soccer, the best does not always win. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves and have a very strong team. We have shown that we can beat very strong opponents. Why couldn’t we do the same in a final?”
In the summer of 2020, De Vrij was named the best defender in Serie A, staying ahead of Neapolitan Kalidou Koulibaly and Juventus defenders Matthijs de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci, among others.
But much has changed in Milan: De Vrij is no longer sure of a starting place. Of the last six league games, he was in the starting lineup four times and started twice on the bench. In the two meetings with AC Milan (in the semifinals of the Champions League), he was a reserve twice.
De Vrij: “I’ve been playing my best games lately, but of course I want to play more. It’s the choices the coach makes. The duels I get, I try to fill in as well as I can. That works out well. That’s all you can do.”
For the final, De Vrij is not counting on anything. “I’m going to let it come to me and make sure I’m ready for anything,” he said.
‘Not sure yet’
About his future at Inter he shrouds himself in proverbial mists: “Whether I will stay is not yet certain. What is certain is that I like it here and that the club and I are talking. I have confidence in myself. I always start with that and then there are all kinds of considerations you take into account in your choices. Playing time is one of them. After the final there will be more clarity.”