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Sneijder urges Inter on to back-to-back titles

Wesley Sneijder declared that FC Internazionale Milano are determined to take a second UEFA Champions League title after reaching the last 16: "We have to win it again."

Wesley Sneijder is aiming for back-to-back UEFA Champions League successes
Wesley Sneijder is aiming for back-to-back UEFA Champions League successes ©Getty Images

With FC Internazionale Milano aflutter after qualifying for the knockout phase, Wesley Sneijder told UEFA.com the European champions are seeking a second UEFA Champions League title in a row.

"Over two legs anything can happen but this result has given us a lot of confidence and we have to push on," the No10 told UEFA.com as he looked forward to the Round of 16. "We have to win it again, we have to do it because we are the holders. Why not? We have some important players to come back soon so we can go for it."

Sneijder played an influential role in his side's 1-0 home success over Group A rivals FC Twente on Wednesday. Deployed by coach Rafael Benítez in Samuel Eto'o's usual position at the centre of an attacking trident, Dutch international Sneijder caused the visitors' rearguard untold problems with his passing and movement.

"We decided to put Sneijder in the middle with Eto'o wide on the left to make it difficult for them to work out who was the striker," Benítez explained to UEFA.com afterwards. "As both Wesley and Goran Pandev are small it was difficult for the central defenders to mark them."

The plan certainly created chances but Sneider was among those guilty of missing them, including one gilt-edged opportunity after just two minutes which he miscued wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. The 26-year-old was also unfortunate that his first-half free-kick hit the bar, although it was from another of his set pieces that Esteban Cambiasso scored the 55th-minute winner that guaranteed qualification and ended the Nerazzurri's six-match winless streak.

"We are going through a difficult spell but we knew before the game that if we won we would go through," the former AFC Ajax prodigy said. "We created a lot of openings and it's a pity we didn't score more but the most important thing is that we won and we're through.

"We knew that Twente have a very strong team, they are very well-organised, so we were expecting a difficult match, but we did well from the start," he added. "We could have made life easier for ourselves by scoring more but in the end we won and we are really happy."

After snapping their poor run of results in Serie A and Europe, Sneijder described the atmosphere in the dressing room as "really good" and stressed that the last-16 opposition held no fear for the reigning champions: "It doesn't matter who we play in the next round. Last year we played Chelsea and Barcelona – we played a lot of good teams before we reached the final so I don't think it matters."