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Motta feels calm before the storm

Thiago Motta is sure FC Internazionale Milano will be unfazed at the Camp Nou, insisting the Nerazzurri are "feeling very calm" after establishing a 3-1 first-leg cushion against FC Barcelona.

Thiago Motta used to ply his trade at the Camp Nou
Thiago Motta used to ply his trade at the Camp Nou ©Getty Images

FC Internazionale Milano faced an almighty struggle when they fell behind to titleholders FC Barcelona in last week's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg – but then came the comeback, and Thiago Motta is insisting the same spirit will be needed at the Camp Nou.

The Nerazzurri became the first team all season to breach Barcelona three times in a 31-minute salvo that has left them within touching distance of the 22 May final. Motta, though, who returns to his former club for the second leg, insists nothing is being taken for granted.

"It was an important step to win at San Siro," said the Brazilian. "But we know this match will be tough because Barcelona play well at home. We know in a semi-final versus Barcelona there will be a full stadium with the crowd cheering for the home team – that's normal in football. Playing at home is always important as we played at San Siro with our crowd behind us.

"But it's 11 against 11 on the pitch and our 11 will do all they can to reach the final, which is the only thing on our minds. I think we deserve it. If we beat Barcelona, it means I will be in a final, a final I wanted to reach. It'll be of huge satisfaction if we reach that final together."

Inter's hosts are no strangers to expansive success in front of their own supporters having already scored four times or more in nine home fixtures this season alone. As such, Motta feels José Mourinho's side must strike a delicate balance between protecting what they already have and seeking to add to their first-leg advantage.

"We're going to play in our own way, our own style, which we did well at San Siro, although this will probably be a different match," he added. "We will play as usual, attacking football, looking to close up gaps, working as a team so as not to leave any spaces for Barcelona. We have to do all we can to make sure we get through. We're feeling very calm and hope to play a great match."

Diego and Gabriel Milito, who could line up on opposite sides should the latter be called upon to stand in for the suspended Carles Puyol, are also sure to be the centre of much attention. "The brothers both want to win and they will both do everything for their teams," added Motta. "It'll be a special match for both players and we hope Diego wins."

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