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Inzaghi to carry on scoring

AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi is Italy's leading marksman in Europe but is hungry for more.

By Paolo Menicucci

In a highly successful 2002/03 season, AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi became Italian football's top scorer in European club competition. He registered 12 times to move on to 45 goals, surpassing previous leader Alessandro Altobelli's record of 39.

'Really proud'
As he prepared for the UEFA Super Cup against FC Porto on Friday night, Inzaghi told uefa.com of his pride at such an achievement. "I have had many good times in Europe in my career," said the Italian international, who aims to rise further in the overall rankings. "It makes me proud to know that I'm just one goal behind [Carlos Alonso] Santillana and four behind [Alfredo] di Stéfano." The two former Real Madrid CF forwards are fourth and fifth in a chart led by Gerd Müller, who scored 70 European goals.

Time to reflect
"However, my goals would mean nothing if we had not won the [UEFA] Champions League," added Inzaghi. "It's pleasing to be among these great players but I want to share this with my team-mates because I could not score without their help. I will start caring about figures when I retire."

Monaco debut
Despite a trophy-laden career, Inzaghi will be playing in a Super Cup final for the first time. "I have never had the chance to play for this trophy before and I am really looking forward to it. We are all excited about the match against Porto because it is a nice fixture - and an extremely important one."

Praise for opponents
However, the former Juventus FC man knows it will not be easy against the UEFA Cup winners. "I really like Porto because they play entertaining football. I saw their UEFA Cup final against Celtic [FC] and it was a fantastic game. They also won the Portuguese league and cup. It won't be easy to beat them but we really care about this trophy. We have been working hard to reach our peak condition for the Monaco match and I think we will be ready."

New signings
Porto may have lifted three trophies last time out, but Milan won the Champions League and the Coppa Italia while finishing third in Serie A. Inzaghi is confident the Rossoneri are even stronger this year after signing Brazilians Cafu and Kakà along with Italy defender Giuseppe Pancaro. "When you add good players to a squad that has already won two competitions out of three, and you don't sell anybody, you obviously get stronger."

Many rivals
Looking beyond the Super Cup, Inzaghi accepts it will not be easy to repeat last season's European triumph. Talking about possible challengers to Milan's crown, he said: "The usual teams like Manchester United [FC], Real Madrid, Juventus, [FC] Barcelona [will be our rivals] but also [FC] Bayern München who were eliminated early last year but are extremely strong.

Fully focused
"We also hope to win the domestic league. We have a big squad and we will try to give our best in every competition we play. Our victories last year made us understand that we are a great team. Some people say we are still thinking about what we did last year, but I don't think it's bad to think about those great moments. And there's no doubt we will be thinking only about Porto on Friday."