Inter regains the spirit of 2010 and dreams of a new European coronation

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Just a month ago, it seemed that the future of Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi was hanging by a thread amid a series of disappointing performances, but the Italian coach was the inspiration for the club’s awakening recently so that the team returned to the golden square locally, and qualified for the Champions League final at the expense of its arch-neighbor Milan by winning back and forth. 2 – zero and 1 – zero, and he also booked a place in the Italian Cup final.

Thanks to the fighting spirit and determination, Inzaghi brought back memories of Inter in 2010 when Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho led him to the continental title for the third time in his history at the expense of Bayern Munich. Inzaghi became the first Italian coach to lead Inter to the Champions League final since Giovanni Inferenizzi in 1972.

This is the sixth final for Inter in the history of its participation in the Champions League and the first in 13 years, and it prevented its neighbor from reaching the twelfth final in its history and the first since 2007 when it achieved its seventh title at the expense of Liverpool, knowing that it is the second most crowned in the prestigious tournament behind Real Madrid (14).

Inzaghi succeeded in bringing about his uprising at an appropriate time (Reuters)

On the other hand, Inter was crowned three times in 1964, 1965 and 2010 and finished runners-up in 1967 and 1972. Inter is living a golden period, as it won eight matches in a row in all competitions, and strengthened its chances of returning to the continental competition from the league gate – in the event that it did not achieve the title this season – by occupying third place three stages before the end. He also reached the final of the Italian Cup at the expense of Juventus, where he will meet Fiorentina on the 24th of this month.

Inter, led by Inzaghi, rose up at an appropriate time, after the team was suffering several weeks ago after a series of six matches without victory, which included three consecutive defeats in the Italian League, to get out of the golden square after finishing second for several weeks. And the beginning of the uprising was when he snatched a 3-3 tie in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals against Benfica, Portugal, which allowed the team to advance 5-3 on aggregate, so that Inzaghi could breathe a sigh of relief and get a chance to correct the course.

Inzaghi tried to implement different methods of play this season by pressing high, in stark contrast to the season in which Inter won the title two years ago, when he was playing on the counter-attack most of the time. But when this method did not work after Inter received easy goals, Inzaghi returned to clinging to the team’s strengths by closing spaces and playing on rebounds, which paid off to snatch victory in eight consecutive matches in all competitions in the last month, as he defeated Juventus, Lazio, Rome and arch-rivals Milan. twice.

And before winning the two European semi-final matches, Inter defeated Milan 3-0 in the Italian Super Cup final last January and then 1-0 in the league the following month, thus achieving victory over its rivals in the local derby 4 times this season.

The last time Milan lost four times to Inter in one season was in 1973-1974.

Inzaghi said: “We faced Milan several times, in the past few months we played four summit matches and won them all. They have a great team but the players did very well and deserve to enjoy these victories. I never doubted my team’s ability to reach the European final, it was just a dream at the beginning, but we believed in it, we had a great period and winning the derby in the semi-finals is amazing. I can only praise the players.

He added, “I said a while ago that we will give everything we have, regardless of the tournament in which we participate, and we will try to do our best … (the players) played with strength, determination, ferocity and focus, they were wonderful. No party gave us any gifts. We achieved a dream with a lot of hard work and sacrifice.”

Inter seemed far from the nominations this season, with many players advancing in age and some contracts expiring at the end of the season. Stars such as 37-year-old striker Edin Dzeko, Francesco Acerbi, Stefan de Vrij and Romelu Lukaku are set to leave at the end of the season. But Inzaghi succeeded in getting them all to walk in the same direction in search of glory.

“The situation this year was very complicated,” Lukaku said. We lacked consistency in the league. But I think we saw an awakening last month. The coach follows the shift policy and everyone does his job. Players who participate do their best. We have a common goal. We knew we couldn’t compete in the league, but we have a chance in the Champions League and the Italian Cup. We reached the final in both competitions and we want to finish the season in the best way.”

For his part, Argentine Lautaro Martinez, who scored the winning goal for Inter in the 74th minute, expressed great happiness at qualifying for the Champions League final, stressing that unity and team spirit played a prominent role in this achievement.