André Onana got everyone to agree


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There are meetings which symbolize the fervor and the rivalries which can exist between certain clubs of the same country. Like the Clasico between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in Spain or even the Derby of England between Liverpool and Manchester United, the meeting between Inter Milan and Juventus is an appointment not to be missed. the other side of the Alps. This very special match, nicknamed the Italian Derby, is an ode to football between two historic teams in the Italian championship, but not only. Even if AC Milan remains the most successful club in Italy on the European scene (with seven titles in the Champions League), the Nerazzurri have three titles in C1 while Juventus lifted the trophy with big ears twice already in its history. A history and a rivalry which therefore does not date from yesterday between the two formations.

If Juventus was eliminated from the group stage of this 2022/2023 edition of the most prestigious of European competitions, in favor of Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain, the Old Lady recovered her health in the Europa League where she got rid of Friborg in the last round counting for the 8th finals of the competition. For its part, Inter is still in the race to win the grail at the end of the season like its rival and neighbor AC Milan. A good proof that Italian football has returned to titillate the other championships which have dominated European football for several seasons now, such as the Premier League and La Liga. And if the two Milanese clubs have achieved such fine runs, the two teams owe it in particular to their rear guard, symbolized by high-class goalkeepers. Between Mike Maignan and André Onana, the two Italian teams can count on a real defensive wall.

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A successful season

It must be said that the two Milan goalkeepers are achieving feats with their respective clubs. The Inter porter also gave an interview for the “Culture” format of the DAZN channel. The opportunity for him to return to the bond that unites the two men. “In 2017, I was the only black goalkeeper who played at a high level. Now I’m happy to see (Edouard) Mendy, (Mike) Maignan and the others again. I have a great relationship with Mike. I am very happy that he is in Milan with me. I know him well, we have played against him a thousand times. We are friends, not intimate: he is a great goalkeeper, I like playing against him. The best? I don’t know, but in my head I know who is the best.” confided in particular André Onana before continuing on his vision of the position of goalkeeper: “I really like being a goalkeeper but it’s a complicated position: you do well today and you make mistakes tomorrow and it’s over. You have to be very strong mentally because every mistake is a goal. if I hadn’t been a goalkeeper, I would have been a policeman. I like responsibility and I like to protect.”

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After the return match in Porto in the Champions League, it was an Italian football legend who returned to the current form of André Onana. Fabio Capello, the legendary transalpine coach, wanted to pay tribute to the Cameroonian goalkeeper. “I congratulate everyone, they suffered and played as a team: (Simone) Inzaghi did everything right. We were also lucky. But Inter had a good first leg. They all suffered, they helped each other and then they have a great goalkeeper: he gave security in the saves and in the outings, in these matches it is fundamental, he is always present. The strength came from (André) Onana, he made three important saves” rejoiced the winner of the 1994 Champions League with AC Milan. For now, the Inter goalkeeper is having a very good season with Inter Milan. The Cameroonian goalkeeper has recorded 14 clean sheets in 27 games in all competitions including 7 in Serie A and 5 in the Champions League since the start of the 2022/2023 financial year.

André Onana ignites Italy

Above all, André Onana was his team’s X factor against Porto in the round of 16 of the C1. Whether in the first leg in Italy or during the return to Portugal, the Milan goalkeeper pulled out all the stops. If Inter can claim to be one of the eight best teams on the planet, the Italian club owes it above all to his keeper. The Gazzetta dello Sport was not mistaken and named the 26-year-old player as man of the match in its edition of the day. “His hand turning Medhi Taremi’s head on the post is a hymn to joy. Also remembering the first leg, these quarter-finals suit him perfectly. could we even read in the columns of the Italian media after the meeting. And this Wednesday, the tribute was meant to be even stronger: “If all this is added to the miraculous interventions of the first leg, there is a Cameroonian seal in this qualification for the quarter-finals. Inter have unearthed a zero-cost gem, perhaps almost unknowingly, and are holding it today. Beyond his saves, it’s his charisma and his way of leading the defense with his feet that make the difference. Among the Nerazzurri’s many accolades in midfield, the one with (Samir) Handanovic, the man whose place he took once and for all, was perhaps the most beautiful.

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Same story for Corriere dello Sport. “André Onana is a great goalkeeper: it took a crazy night like this to say it without fear, but Inter can now shout it from the rooftops of Portugal. With the same aggressiveness as that with which the Cameroonian threw himself into the surface of the Nerazzurri at the end of the match. Before that, during the hundred minutes, recoveries included, he had kept an Olympian calm. Playing and defending might have been anxious, but Andre’s big hands were moving and endlessly repeating a magic word learned during those Italian months: ‘quiet’, ‘keep calm’ he repeated even when the Portuguese swells came on the flanks. If in the first half, from the start, Onana made a plastic flight on a very dangerous shot from Uribe, it was in the second half that the former Ajax player exulted: he first extended on a very insidious diagonal from Grujic, then miraculously put his little hand on the head of Taremi who grazed the post before finishing on the outside” reveled in the other major Italian sports media.

Juventus have been warned

The main interested party has also given his miracle recipe: “The fear ? I don’t know the word fear. The truth is that we worked very well as a team. We suffered, with good training. We knew it would be difficult, but we did everything I hoped for and qualification came. We were better than Porto, between the first leg and the second leg. In addition, we performed very well defensively. But when we all work together it’s hard to concede goals and now we have a lot of confidence going into the next round. I am very happy with the result, we showed heart and character. Now we are thinking of Juventus, but it was important to arrive at the game with qualification in hand. rejoiced André Onana with a smile that said a lot about his sparkling performance. Before returning to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the Cameroonian goalkeeper now has an appointment with Juventus this Sunday, during a meeting which promises to be sulphurous between the two eternal rivals of the Italian boot, in order to extend happiness, and its contagious joy, for as long as possible in Lombardy.

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