MILAN – André Onana is used to big challenges. At the age of just 14, he left Cameroon to become part of Barcelona’s youth setup before moving on to Ajax. Now, a new challenge awaits: Inter. The new Nerazzurri goalkeeper introduced himself to his new fans in an interview with Inter TV.
Can you tell us how you’re feeling after arriving at a Club like Inter?
“I’m very happy to be part of this great Club and this family, which is a great institution. What more can you say about a Club that has done it all? Being here is amazing, and we hope to achieve important objectives in the future.”
You’re a product of the Eto’o academy. Samuel is the strongest African player of all time, an idol for everyone and part of Inter’s history. But how important has he been for you? Have you had a chance to talk to him and, if so, how did he describe being part of this Club to you?
“I have a fantastic relationship with Eto’o, and we even played together at San Siro. We’ve talked about Inter on several occasions, both when I was on international duty and at other times, too. He always spoke very highly of this Club and told me that Inter would be perfect for me given the way I play. That’s why when I heard about the offer from Inter – a great Club that was interested in me – I never had any doubts. Being here is fantastic, I’m really happy.”
Inter have had some amazing goalkeepers. How determined are you to follow in their footsteps and try to replicate their success?
“Inter are a great Club and have always had good goalkeepers, including now. I’m calm; I’m the one who needs to write my own story. This is a big challenge and I like big challenges. Time will tell if I succeed. But I’m very confident and happy to be here. There’s not much I can say. I just can’t wait to take to the pitch, where you’ll see who the real André is.”
The goalkeeping role has changed a lot in the past few years. You developed at Barcelona before moving to Ajax, so you’ve been involved in two of the most modern setups for goalkeepers. How would you describe yourself as a goalkeeper? What is your style?
“I think I’ve adjusted well to this new modern goalkeeping style. Obviously, football has changed and the goalkeeping role has particularly changed in the last 20 years. Goalkeepers are asked to be an additional outfield player, and I believe that I really stand out in this regard, playing with my feet, keeping the ball on the ground, displaying character and, above all, transmitting the right sense of confidence to the team. I think I’ve proven this in the past, and coming here, where there are all these high-quality players, is wonderful. With the help of everyone, I believe I’ll be able to show just how good a goalkeeper I am. I consider myself to be one of the best in the world.”
To finish, do you have a message for your new fans?
“Obviously, I want to thank you all for all of your support and all the messages I’ve received. I know that there was disappointment at missing out on the league title, but the next few seasons will be better. We’ll fight to win everything, both in Italy and abroad, because this team and this Club deserve the best and, with the players we have, we need to think big, as has always been the case. So have confidence in us.”