Inter Milan are destined for “great things” under Antonio Conte, according to Lautaro Martinez after the Argentine and Romelu Lukaku both scored twice to thrash Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in Dusseldorf and reach the Europa League final.
Danilo D’Ambrosio was also on target for the Italian giants, who will face Sevilla in Friday’s final in Cologne.
Inter have endured a lean decade since winning the Champions League in 2010, but closed the gap on Juventus at the top of Serie A to just one point in Conte’s first season in charge and are now one win away from a first trophy in nine years.
Martinez and Lukaku’s prolific partnership has been the source of much of Inter’s success and they took their tally to a combined 54 for the season.
“It was an incredible night, something we have been dreaming of,” said Martinez, who has been strongly linked with a move to be Luis Suarez’s successor at Barcelona.
“We proved that Inter are ready for great things, we are ready for the final.”
After a slow start, Martinez put Inter on course for their 10th European final as he powered home Nicolo Barella’s cross to open the scoring on 19 minutes.
Shakhtar are one of European football’s great survivors as the Ukrainian champions continue to thrive despite not playing a match in their home city of Donetsk for six years due to a war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.
Luis Castro’s men had scored 14 goals in five Europa League games since dropping into the competition form the Champions League, but their talented array of Brazilian forwards barely laid a glove on a characteristically well-organised Conte defence.