Stankovic backs Inter to overcome 'crisis' and return to Europe's elite


Inter great Dejan Stankovic has backed his former team to recover from their "crisis" and become a major player in Italian and European football once again.

Inter conquered all before them under Jose Mourinho in the 2009-10 season, winning an unprecedented Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble.

However, Inter's last appearance at Europe's top table was in 2012 and they have not finished in the top three in Serie A since finishing runners-up six years ago, while the club have gone through nine coaches since Mourinho's departure. 

But Stankovic says Inter, backed by wealthy owners Suning Holdings Group, are on the road to recovery. 

Speaking exclusively to Omnisport, Stankovic said: "I have always been an optimist. 

"My opinion is that Inter will overcome the current crisis and will soon be a serious competitor for the title and success in Europe.

"Perhaps the crisis was expected because of many changes and developments. Now, Inter face a period of stability and good results."

Stankovic was instrumental in Inter's rise to the summit, both domestically and abroad under Mourinho.

The former Serbia international won 15 trophies in total at San Siro and it is an era that the 38-year-old remembers fondly.

"Inter are very special for me. It is definitely the club where I achieved my greatest success and where I feel like I am at home," he said.

"I have not changed a lot of clubs in my career, that's why each of them have a special place in my life. However Inter are the most special club because of the many trophies I won and many beautiful years I spent there."

Head coach Stefano Pioli has managed to provide some stability at Inter after a woeful start to the season under former boss Frank de Boer.

The honeymoon period, however, is over amid three games without a win following last week's shock loss at Crotone, a result that has seen the pressure continue to mount on Pioli.

It meant Inter dropped to seventh, leapfrogged by city rivals AC Milan ahead of Saturday's derby in the race for European football, but Stankovic has called for patience.

"I appreciate Pioli and I think he will achieve success at Inter, he just needs time and support," added Stankovic, who made 326 appearances during his time at the club.

"I expect him to keep up the good work and to see him on the bench next season as well.

"I am sure that Mr Pioli and the sports sector of Inter will find the right balance to their achieve goals."