It hadn’t happened for 45 years. Inter had won the Champions League final at the Bernabéu against Bayern Munich in 2010. José Mourinho then got into an Audi A8 while the entire squad was already on the club’s bus to go to the airport. But the Portuguese saw Materazzi crying with emotion against a wall. And above all, he saw a camera. So he ordered the car to stop, ran towards him and staged a fabulous crying while he melted into a hug with the defender. Then he turned around, went back to the car, and drove off. There you stay. The Audi belonged to Florentino Pérez. And that night he went with him to dinner as the new Real Madrid coach while the whole team returned to Milan to celebrate a long-awaited title until dawn. The scene explains well Mourinho’s relationship with Inter. Or rather, with himself.
On Saturday, for the first time since he left in 2010, he met again in an official match with his former team. I knew I was going to lose. And as happened so many times with Barça, he began to put bandages before the multiple wounds arrived (0-3). Creator of a historic triplet, today Olympus shares with great interista myths such as Facchetti, Helenio Herrera, Boninsegna, Luis Suárez and Zanetti. Absolutely all fans they adore him. That does not mean, of course, that someone is going to have false illusions about their selfish personality. Nobody is offended because he has returned to Italy and now coaches Roma. On the contrary. The only division in the stands, which this Saturday dedicated a banner to him showing “eternal gratitude”, is among those who still have fun when he polemicizes with the referees and those who simply see him as a depreciated character.
Mourinho will always be interista (of his Inter, the one with the triplet, yes). But his signing for Roma was not a drama for the fans. Another thing would have been Milan or Juve. Although it does not matter, because they did not call him either. Who knows if that’s why, when he went to play Delle Alpi in October, he raised his completely hieratic arm and made the treble gesture with his fingers. Those, he considers, were the rivals of his Inter. Although well looked at, in the triplet season the main adversary was the team that now trains. The club to which he dedicated his famous phrase of “zero titoli”. The same trophies that, seeing the unfortunate game on Saturday, everything indicates that he will win this year.
When Mourinho landed in Milan he found a strong Inter without great rivals. Juve had just come out of the Serie B pit and Milan was very weakened after the loss of great players. It was smart. He sold Ibrahimovic and with that money he bought Sneijder, Lucio and Eto’o to build a real team. Claudio Ranieri was then coaching Roma and managed to play him until April for the scudetto and reach the final of Coppa Italia. But the Giallorrossi ended up low in the league after losing to Sampdoria and lost in the Cup final, again, to Inter.
Serie A stopped being a challenge. And so the crossing against Barça in the semifinals of the Champions League became his masterpiece. In every sense. The players say that after winning 3-1 in the first leg he stood in Appiano Gentile (the training ground), took out a blackboard and began to propose different match schemes with 10 players. “Mister, one is missing,” they warned him. But Mourihno was convinced that one would be sent off in the first half and that it was convenient to prepare to play like this for the rest of the match. Then Thiago Motta was in charge of fulfilling the prophecy with a slap at Busquets in the 28th minute, granting the Portuguese unlimited powers as a fortune teller. After the game, everyone said they were ready for that moment. Who knows if also Eto’o, who played as a winger for the first time in his career, becoming the Sistine Chapel of Mourihno’s tactical scheme, who always had plenty of forwards. On Saturday against Inter, to justify his new defeat, he complained that they are missing.
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