Most Feyenoorders would have preferred AC Milan in the semifinal of the UEFA Cup but it was Internazionale that was pulled out of the hat and there’s no denying they are a very cool opponent to draw. And, as Patrick Paauwe said, ‘Anything’s better than Borussia Dortmund.’ He was expressing the feeling of the whole squad, bearing in mind Feyenoord’s difficulties with German opposition in the past.

‘For me Inter was the most attractive opponent of them all,’ Bert van Marwijk told the press Friday afternoon. ‘The most appealing, but also the most difficult, that’s clear. But okay, you always have a chance.’ Van Marwijk: ‘Inter has enormously talented players, but it never used to be a team. That’s changed now. When you see that they knocked out Valencia, a team that reached the final of the Champions League twice in succession, I never expected that and it does say something about their strength. Well, we’ll be doing our best to reach the final in our own Kuip.’ Patrick Paauwe is another who knows all about the strength of Internazionale. ‘I’d rather have played AC Milan, because they are faltering a bit. But I’m looking forward to the confrontation with players like Vieri. Ronaldo may even be playing. And in any event I’m happy we didn’t draw Borussia. In the past we’ve always had more trouble with Germans than with Italians. Remember the games against Lazio. And anyway no one’s expecting us to do anything.’ Clearly Feyenoord will go into the clash as the underdog. ‘But we would have been against all those three possible opponents, so we shouldn’t give any thought to that,’ said Pierre van Hooijdonk. ‘Inter is obviously a fantastic club to play against. And I feel you always have a chance against Italians. Roda won at AC Milan and Inter also had problems with Vitesse last year. I think it’s an advantage that we play away first. Otherwise you have to get a good result first at home and make the play. That’s not our favourite thing to do.’ Despite the demanding prospect of a two-legged battle with Inter the vibes in the Feyenoord camp were still good after the win against PSV.
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