Euro winner Mario set for Inter unveiling
Reports claimed Joao Mario, 23, will join Frank De Boer’s side for 40m euros plus 5m in bonuses to Sporting.
“It’s great to be at Inter, I want to thank the fans who have given me such a fantastic welcome,” Mario told Sky Sports in an interview pitchside minutes before kick-off.
“But I also want to thank Inter, one of the biggest clubs in the world. I want to show that I’m worth every penny of what they paid for me.”
Inter won the treble of league, Cup and Champions League under former coach Jose Mourinho in 2010 but have since struggled to qualify for the competition’s group stages amid the domestic dominance of Juventus, an ambitious Roma side and Napoli, who finished runners-up last season.
But the ‘Nerazzurri’ have been given fresh impetus after being bought by Chinese tycoon Zhang Jindong, who will expect coach Frank De Boer to succeed where Roberto Mancini — who won seven titles including three consecutive league titles in a previous spell at the club — failed.
Qualification for the Champions League is the priority, and Mario added: “Our ambition, our dream, is to play the Champions League.
“We have to work hard if we are to succeed but we’ll see at the end of the season if we can finish first or second.”
Juventus, who bought 36-goal Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain in the summer for 90m euros ($102m), have won the past five Serie A titles.