Tag Archive: Inter Milan


Source : zonalmarking.net

AS Roma continue their strong start with 7 wins in trot. What’s most impressive, the 7th victory was against Inter Milan, giving them the first defeat of the season in sensational 0-3 scoreline in Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, the very Inter Milan stadium. For Inter, the victory against Firorentina gave clue about their weakness. La Viola were without Pizzarro, Gomez, Cuadrado, and Pasquale left the field at minute 35 due to injury. Despite facing the half-powered squad, Inter were trailing by 1 goal before making a comeback. Against Roma, no comeback was allowed and it gave everyone food of thought about what was wrong.

Defender

The basic role of both Campagnaro and Samuel are to cover Ranocchia and Juan who suffer concentration lapse on daily basis. While Samuel is more conservative one, Campagnaro is more active one and reminding everyone to Lucio figure. One huge plus point over Samuel is, Campagnaro has far better ball skill, frequently joins the attack either by overlapping run or accurate distribution. Ranocchia and Juan do not lose to Campagnaro in term of how to contribute offensively. But, the problem isn’t about how, it is about when. The Italian-Brazilian duo simply do not have the sense when to choose safe or risky play. With his capability to distribute ball safer than Rano-Juan and to bail out their blunders as well, Campagnaro has already cemented himself at the first team squad. Or even further, he could threat Ranocchia or Juan spot if they do not raise their game.

Aside of constant concentration lapse by Rano-Juan, there is not much to worry about Inter defence. Campagnaro’s absence against Roma might suggest the lack of depth in the backline, but it was just a misfortune that he and Samuel were injured simultaneously. Unless the injury-storm struck Inter again like last season, the defence department should be okay for the rest of season.

Midfielder

This is where the deepest hole lies and it is mainly because the absence of defensive midfielder. Inter obviously lack someone who can cut the opposition attack from midfield zone. Mind that the defensive midfielder here is not necessarily the likes of classical anchorman like Gattuso, Makelele etc, but the modern one would do as well e.g. Busquets, J. Martinez, Khedira etc. Right now, Inter only have Cambiasso and injured Mudingayi. The former might still boast exceptional football intelligent, but his body can’t keep up with the game tempo anymore. While the latter isn’t bad player, but he isn’t your man to fight against Pogba, Totti, Insigne etc.

Because of the insufficient protection from the midfield, Mazzarri must employ players which are jack-of-all-trade, master-of nothing. Cambiasso is designated as the rearest midfielder, acting as center-half and passer simultanously. The problem is, he is no longer the worldclass anchorman like he used to be nor he is the great playamaker. The result is, he cannot contribute significantly both in offence and defence.

Mazzarri surely wants to use Kovacic as creative fulcrum in his squad, but the Croatian contributes little, if not zero, in defence. Actually, Kovacic shows some great defensive capability last season with his interception and tackling. The problem is his half-commitment in defence. It will be interesting to see how Mazzarri will handle this. Will he go Mourinho-Xabi way i.e. balancing the deep playmaker with defensive attribute ? Or, will he go Conte-Pogba way i.e. sharpen his attacking edge and letting go his defensive aptitude ? Back to topic, with the current state of Kovacic, it will be very risky to play him alongside Cambiasso as it will leave too much holes in midfield.

Therefore, Mazzarri plays Taider instead of Kovacic. It is the jack-of-all-trade issue again. What exactly is Taider speciality ? His defensive ability isn’t as good as Cambiasso, he is obviosly not the passer, his tenacity and physicality are also subpar compared to Guarin. Here, Mazzarri opts for safe route by deploying him in order to give extra protection in midfield.

Perhaps Guarin is the least confusing spot in central midfield. Despite of his inconsitency, selfishness, and skyward-shots, his physical aspects makes him too good to be wasted. Let alone in Serie-A where there are only few midfielders who can compete physically with him. The spot of box-to-box midfielder in Nerazzurri is definitely him.

The lack of defensive midfielder really confuses Mazzarri to find correct balance. In modern football, the complete midfielders (like Schweinsteiger, Martinez, Carrick, Mikel etc) is more favoured than the specialist midfielders pair (example : Davids-Zidane, Keane-Scholes, Gattuso-Pirlo/Kaka, Mascherano-Xabi etc). Either way, Mazzarri will have tough time in combining the his midfield resources. Right now, he chooses the first option when he has multifunctions midfielders viz. Cambiasso-Guarin-Taider. The result is, the they struggle in both dictating the game and containing opposition midfielders. The Fiorentina and Roma games proved it. Both team’s midfielders are defensively weak, but Inter failed to capitalize it due to lack of creativity in their midfield. One could argue that such midfielders line-up help Inter to not concede more, but remember that Inter have the aim to reach UCL zone (or EL zone at least). Thus, they should have must-win mentality rather than –must-not-lose.

The lack of defensive midfielder really makes the Gargano-Taider the curious case. If Mazzari really wants to create specialist midfields pair, there is nothing more perfect than Gargano-Kovacic. It is really unfortunate that both of them had too few games together to forge the chemistry. Kovacic played regularly while Gargano was injured regularly. When the Uruguayan had recovered, it was Kovacic turn at the sideline in preseason. As Mazzarri had trained Gargano back then in Napoli, the decision to offload him implies that Mazzarri really understood and being confident in his midfield. But, the sudden arrival of Taider suggests that Mazzarri realized that he overestimated his midfield’s defensive capability and he had to find the replacement immediately.

Wing Back

The flank sector has chronic shortcoming namely characteristic similarity. Out of Zanetti, Jonathan, Nagatomo, and Pereira, who offers something different to the table ? No one. None of them can provide powerful thrust at the flank like young Zanetti or Maicon. None of them can provide pinpoint cross as well. Oh dear, none of them can provide defensive protection as well (except Zanetti, but not sure how he will perform perform his long injury).

In attacking, the winger must provide the threat from the width to stretch the defence. Due to less tight defence in the flank and bounded by the lines, speed is the important asset for winger. If he doesn’t possess such speed, at least he must equip himself with good cross. Let alone for the fans of vertical football like Mazzarri. The current Inter have some players who are able to cover pitch length in short frame of time e.g. Guarin, Kovacic, and Palacio. It will be important to have fast winger to keep up with the attack tempo. Let’s see what Inter have here.

We cannot judge Zanetti due to his long absence, but if we have to judge him based on last season performance, he will only contribute significantly to defence.

Jonathan isn’t fast, but he sure is smart for the wing back standard. Only very few wingers can ghost past behind opposition defence like Jonathan often does. He has improved his performance from last year, but only time will tell for how long he can keep his form.

Nagatomo can run all day, but what else does he provide ? He is too often outpaced and outmuscled by his opposition. The most intriguing part is how often he drifts inside as left winger while his main role is to provide the width at the left. Hence, the attack becomes narrow instead of wide. Maybe he is good at scoring the goal. While it is good to have extra source of goal, it will be better if he is good at his primary duty as a wingback.

Pereira, uhm, should we bother with him ? His most notable contribution for Inter last season was his assists, but it is the case when statistical deceives. For all his 5 assists he produced last season, there must be 500 times he was being wasteful, either it was dispossessed or wayward cross. Not to mention his defensive susceptibility just like he showed against Roma when he fouled Gervinho unnecessarily.

So, now you understand why Mazzarri was so desperate to sign Zuniga or Isla at the transfer window.

Forward

 

The non-existance of reliable defensive midfielder affects the frontline as well. Icardi was signed before Mazzarri’s arrival, but Belfodil arrived under his consent.  It is obvious that Mazzarri would pair the second-striker and scorer. The combination will be like Belfodil/Ricky/Palacio paired with Icardi/Milito. The defensive fraility leaves Mazzarri no choice, but using Ricky-Palacio instead of the rest.

Ricky is central midfielder by nature, second-striker by position. He has 2 main contributions so far i.e. ball retention and closing-down. Ricky has no problem if it only comes down to keep the ball. But, he lacks the cutting edge that a second-striker should have to unlock the defence.

Palacio‘s game is all about running at second line, at the outside of penalty box. He will cooperate with his attacking partner (last season it was Cassano and Milito) to divert defenders’ attention and punish them when they are caught offguard. With Cassano, it was very easy for Palacio to score the goal thanks to miraculous touch of Fantanonio. With Ricky, it is entirely different case. As mentioned before, Ricky doesn’t have cutting edge and he will not be able to supply the opportunity for Palacio to exploit. And, as much quality as Palacio has, he is not Van Persie or Cavani who could shake the defence with off-the-ball movement, linking-up play, and scoring in the same time.

The main features that Mazzarri seeks from Ricky-Palacio over Belfodil/Icardi/Milito are the amount of running and defensive contribution. As Inter do not have the proper anchorman in the middle, Mazzarri decides to distribute the defensive duty to every player including the forwards. Just like the case in midfield, maybe Inter can score against small teams with Ricky-Palacio, but don’t expect much from them against the likes of Juventus, Napoli, or Roma.

Solution

Now it is up to Inter on how to solve such problem. Either they must utilise the existing resources or sign new players at winter transfer window. The first alternative would be nurturing Kovacic’s defensive side so Mazzarri could field Kovacic-Guarin-Taider and share the almost-equal responsibility of offence-defence. Such complete and versatile midfielders are typical modern football and Mazzarri could also opt for classic scheme. He could shape Taider into pure defensive midfielder and sharpen Kovacic’s offensive capability even more. The second choice will be more unlikely. The last option would be signing new player. But, it will be harder to find suitable player in transfer window so Inter must consider their options wisely.

The situation in wing back department is more tricky as there is too few variation. The remaining options aside of Zanetti, Jonathan, Nagatomo, and Pereira are Laxalt and Wallace. But, unless they are given the playing time, no judgement will be passed upon them. One thing for sure, the signing of new player will be more likely here including the Pereira sale.

It is important for Mazzarri to take more risk in attacking department. Of course Mazzarri must address his defence first, but Inter will achieve nothing if they keep relying on Ricky-Palacio partnership as they stand no chance against a strong, organized defence.

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Pirlo Inter Milan

So many youths enroll in Inter Milan young player academy yet so few who make it to the highest level. It seemed they have bright future ahead in their football career. The fans put their hope on them as the next star. Too bad. Some still play at highest level of football, but some play at lower division and worse, some gave up their football career at early age. Here are the little compilation of some players who once are the part of Inter Milan and Inter Primavera. Lets have some bitter sweet nostalgia of the players who once we bear the hope on.

Primavera

Note :

*Age when the player departed from Inter Primavera

**Departed status means the player left Inter due to loaned, released, moved to other club, or promoted to Inter Milan first team

ps : Since the writing isn’t for serious purpose, sorry for inaccuracy then. Only want some nostalgic stuff and wondering how Inter young player academy works.

Reference :

http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/

After a strong start in Serie-A campaign, Inter Milan performance suffers freefall recently. But, despite the disappointing results they have gotten, there are still some players who deliver. One of them is Fredy Guarin. His form was bad when the team were good and the vice versa happens. His performance got better when Inter chose attacking approach instead of defensive one. Then, he began to leave his defensive duty and participate more in attack. He was bought as defensive and box-to-box midfielder (or shuttler), but this season sees we often see him playing as attacking midfielder (or even trequartista).

The question is, does the shift of role favor him and Inter ? How effective is it? The results vary between highs and lows. But, it is author’s personal opinion that Guarin should not play as attacking midfielder. Why ?

 

Attacking Midfielder Is Not His Natural Position

First, Guarin was simply a makeshift attacking midfielder as no one else could do it. Cambiasso is too slow and doesn’t have enough guile to be attacking midfielder, Gargano’s passing is on Serie-C1 class, Sneijder was injury-plauged (and now has gone), and Ricky Alvarez follows the Dutchman footstep as hospital patient. But, several strong performances as attacking midfielder should not justify him to deploy him there in long run. Last season, he impressed everyone with his physical and combatant presence in the middle of the park. With the emergence of Benassi and arrival of Kovacic and Kuzmanovic, there is simply no reason to continue playing him as attacking midfielder. Furthermore, box-to-box midfielder is his natural position and it is very difficult to teach new role in his mature golden age.

Brute Strength Is Not For Number 10

Second, physical player can’t optimize his power if he is stationed close to opponent’s goal. History teaches us that attacking midfielder is decorated by techincal players (e.g. Iniesta, Zidane, Laudrup etc), not physical one. In the area congested by opponent bodies, vision and technique are more important than raw strength. That’s why Guarin suits best in shuttler role. The further you are from opposition goal, the more space you have to build up the momentum. The proofs are, most of Guarin commendable plays come when he outpaces and outmuscles everyone in his wake, not from his astute positioning or deft passing.

 

Ramires, Boateng, and Yaya Toure

Third, lets take recent history lesson from Ramires, Boateng, and Yaya Toure. Together with Guarin, 4 of them started as pure defensive midfielder and then development in modern football shifted them into box-to-box midfielder. Until this stage, all of them still did well. But, the circumstance in each player’s club saw them developing in each way.

Ramires still continues playing as shuttler in Chelsea. In this position, he deserved great merit for his contribution in delivering UCL title for The Blues. It was his sudden burst against Barcelona that secure vital goals. In first leg, he provided assist for Drogba and in second leg he scored it by himself. Chelsea sat back, soaked the pressure, and then launched quick counter attack with Mata vision, Ramires surge, and Drogba finish. Isn’t it how Stramaccioni wants to play with Cassano, Guarin, and Palacio in his arsenal ? Despite there is slight drop in his performance recently (together with most of his teammates), Ramires is still valuable first team member in shuttler role.

Kevin Prince Boateng is the case where Inter and Guarin try to avoid. He was stationed as trequartista and even earned number 10. He was instrumental when Milan won Serie-A 2 seasons ago, but then saw drastic drop in his performances. Neverthless, Allegri still insisted to deploy him as number 10 and it led to strings of bad results, much to the rage of Milanisti. Surely Stramaccioni doesn’t want his Colombian star bears the same fate as Boateng. Only after Boateng was benched for several matches, Allegri plays him again now as midfielder. With Montolivo at his side as passer and El-Sharaawy upfront, it seems Boateng form has gotten better. Now, as Guarin will be suspended for next match again Chievo, it could give time for thought for the him and his coach to decide the best for Inter.

Contrary to Boateng, Yaya Toure succeeds in more advanced role. Started as box-to-box midfielder in Barcelona, he transited into more attacking role in Manchester City and now he established himself as main attacking midfielder with Silva. Could Guarin emulate him ? No. The main reasons why Yaya Toure thrives well in attacking role are Barcelona and David Silva. He gains a lot of benefit for playing and training in Barcelona which have strong accent on passing and technique. Also, it is Silva who provides creativity edge and Toure complements it with his powerful drive. Let’s apply the case to Nerazzurri. Inter may have the creative figure, but not the staff and system to shape someone into fine attacking midfielder. Let alone converting someone who is 26 years old and has spent his entire career in defensive nature. Sidenote for Toure, although his current fine form, every City fans will agree that Toure reached his greatest height last season when he played as shuttler. So, shall we see Guarin as box-to-box midfielder again, Mr. Andrea Stramaccioni ?

 

Talking about Inter Milan means talking about Javier Zanetti and vice versa. As a captain for 13 years, he has led Nerazurri with fine performance and consitency, leading them to 15 trophies during his reign as captain. But, there is an end for everything and Zanetti is no exception. Currently he is at the dawn of his career and already shows the signs of declining. So, when Il Tractore retires, who will inherit the armband that has been strapped tightly to his arm ? Who is Inter Milan captain after Zanetti ? For now, the vice captain is Cambiasso and below him is Milito and Samuel. Also there is still Stankovic and Chivu. But all of them also already at the age of 30’s. Apparently, following Zanetti’s footstep to play in high level competition until 39 years old is virtually imposibble for them. Even Milito already shows alarming inconsistency while Stankovic and Chivu are struggling with their fitness.

So, who will continue the legacy of Zanetti and leading new generation of Inter Milan in next few years ? This is quite difficult question as there is no standout leader among the players within current Inter squad. The current Inter mostly comprises of new legs like Handanovic, Juan, Guarin, Gargano, Pereria, and Palacio. So, by common sense, unlikely they would be the next captain as there are more senior players out there. Also, the likes of Livaja, Coutinho, and Ricky also would be unlikely as they are tender in age. So by eliminating the least probable one, here are the candidates of next captain:

1. Wesley Sneijder (age 28, joined Inter in 2009)

In near future, he will be the only remnant of treble winner team. And, within Inter first team squad, he is the most senior player and has the longest service for under 30 years old player criteria. Seems the chance of him as captain is quite high, but it only and only happens if both the Dutchman and Nerazzuri do not part way. There is no telling when Inter will sell him for big amount of money or either Sneijder will leave Milano to follow other stars that had left Serie-A.

2. Samir Handanovic (age 28, joined Inter in 2012)

Talking about captaincy for him is extremely premature. But, barring the 30 years old players in the squad, he is the most senior player there on par with Sneijder. Also, as the goalkeeper, his position is relatively secure and there is little chance of him being offloaded in near future. In next 2 or 3 years, probably the only active player in current squad that is older than him is Palacio. But, there is no telling when his performance drops, let alone as a striker in modern football that requires a lot of movement. Also, combination of rat-tail and armband isn’t neat fashion, is it ?

3. Andrea Ranocchia (age 24, joined Inter in 2011)

As the name stands, Internazionare Milano was established to accomodate foreigners to play football in Milano. The policy still continues as the number of foreign players of Nerazurri is almost always the most among other Serie-A teams. Neverthless, Interisti would be proud to have Italian captain to show the identity of Italan club. And, if he is the great defender that Italians desperate for so long and becomes the backbone of Gli Azzuri, it would be perfect scenario for Interisti. Could it be Ranocchia ? Forget the great defender part, he still has long way to go to be the one. But, currently he is the primary centerback of the team and his playing time is among the highest in squad. Add the factor of him as Italian, his odd as the captain is widely open. The recent match against Rubin Kazan, when he became a captain,  just confirmed it even more. If somehow he becomes leader of La Beneamata, the captaincy will once again return to centerback position, just like Giuseppe Bergomi who was the predecessor of Javier Zanetti. Of course, comparing Ranocchia to Bergomi is an utter insult to such accomplished defender. Well, at least the harsh challenges reminds Ranocchia to the former captain a lot. Surely The Frog can leap even higher, right Ranocchia ?

4. Yuto Nagatomo (age 26, joined Inter in 2011)

Probably mentioning him as Inter’s next captain is a bit peculiar, but no one bears any resemblance to Zanetti better than Nagatomo. Simply say, Nagatomo is a poor man’s Zanetti. Both player have almost similar charateristics. Versatile, infinite stamina, industrious, with dribbling as strong point. By the next couple of years, his age will allow him to be senior enough to be a captain and still has enough time to serve Inter long enough. Then, the main point with him as a captain is, he would inject the enthusiasm and lead by example just like Zanetti has been doing. His chance for the captaincy is sandwiched by Handanovic and Ranocchia, but if somehow he becomes one, he would be the first Asian to lead the top European team.

Continued from : https://irequis.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/top-10-worst-transfer-of-moratti-era/

Even the weakest has the strong point. Albeit Inter has done so many terrible transfers, Moratti and his mercato team still shows their sanity and intelligence by conducting good transfers.  Although the ratio between the good and bad transfers is about 1:8 to 1:10, at least there are some great signing to keep Inter in the Europe elite circle.

Again, the list is not about who is the best player ever in Inter. It is neither about how skillful is the player nor about his contribution only. It is about the player who contributes the most with least price. For example, if somehow Iner buy Messi for € 200 million and score with the same rate like he does in Barca, he still is rated as decent or good transfer, not brilliant, as we expect nothing less from such transfer..

Credit to http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk for providing transfer value. Note : all the price mentioned are in million Euro.

Grey area : Ibrahimovic (in : € 24.8 million, out : 90), Ronaldo (in : 28, out : 45) , Christian Vieri (in : 45, out : 0), Recoba (in : 17, out : 0)

Before we enter to top 10 best transfer, let me introduce the grey are. These are high profile names who seemed like good piece of transfers but, after giving deeper thought, one could wonder if they were really good.

Ibra brought Inter all the domestics trophies, but on darker side, he brought his notorious European curse to the club which never won UCL since 1966.

Ronaldo was the best gifted and talented player in Inter squad since established, but he only presented 1 UEFA Cup. Twice he did almost get his hand of Scudetto, only to lost in final matches as Pietro Cecarini robbed the title in 1998 and the whole team played terribly in 2002, giving up Scudetto and 2nd place. They were not Ronaldo’s fault and Ronaldo was always the best player in every season, but sadly statistic didn’t have sentiment thus let Ronaldo down for only giving 1 UEFA Cup. His record in Inter is 49 goals in 68 matches. Excellent goal per game stat, but 68 matches in 4 seasons was way too few for a player who smashed world transfer record, thanks to his prolonged injuries.

Vieri’s case was almost the same with Ronaldo, only worse. Broke the world transfer record but gave 0 titles for Nerazzurri. His stat was 103 goals in 145 games, excellent. But it was expected from world most expensive player. Zero title and rebellious attitude at the end of Inter career, it was close call and Vieri doesn’t make it for the 10 best transfer list.

Out of 4 players, Recoba was the worst. He was unknown player when Inter bought him. It seemed the transfer would turn out to be masterpiece as he showed terrific talent especially since his dream debut. But too bad he didn’t have the mentality to compete in high level competition and his susceptibility to injury didn’t allow him to contribute much for Inter. Also, he was an apple to Moratti’s eye, thus pushed Moratti to fire any coach who didn’t fit Recoba in the system  and forced every next coaches to play Recoba in every matches whenever possible. Furthermore, Recoba was the highest paid player in the world back then although his contribution was relative few. Indirectly, Recoba brought more instability to already turbulent Inter.

Honourable mention to decent and good transfers like Zamorano, Djorkaeff, Cauet, Pagliuca, Toldo, Samuel etc.

10. Ivan Cordoba (in :14, out : -)

An stalwart in Inter defence since 2000. His short frame doesn’t obstruct him to be one of world best defender back then. Since his arrival in Inter, he already secured 1 spot in center back.and became vice-captain until now.

As age began to devour his ability and fine physical quality, he became sub player and rarely got any playing time. Inter must be thankful for Cordoba because he never complaint about his lack of appearances in Inter games and it is the ultimate proof of his loyalty to Inter. At the end of the season, he will retire at the club he loves and every true Interisti must love him too.

Close call between Cordoba and Samuel as both of them are terrific defender. Considering Samuel costed Inter about € 25 million while Cordoba € 14 million and the latter plays longer, Cordoba won the place.

9. Dejan Stankovic (in : 4, out : ?)

A surprisingly cheap transfer for a player of Stankovic calibre. Back then in Lazio, Stankovic was one of Lazio best player, but how the financial crisis in Lazio forced them to sell him in mid season with low price. Versatile and adventurous midfielder with great defence and passing, Deki could play anywhere in midfield with excellence. When he joined Inter in mid season, he became important right after and he is still a regular first team player for current Inter.

Now, he doesn’t have those legs and lungs to run for 90 minutes and there are declines in some department, but he remains as one of the best signing for Nerazzurri.

8. Thiago Motta (in : 15, out : 11.5)

You just realize how precious is something or someone when you lose it. That’s what happen to Inter when selling Motta to PSG. His game was all about simple pass and broke up opponent’s attack before they began. A typical modern central midfielder like Carrick, Busquet, or Yaya Toure. Nothing stood out in his play to convince Inter board to keep him. Ranieri asked to not sell him as he realized the player’s importance, but the request fell to deaf ears. As soon as Motta departed, Inter began to crumble as the statistic speaks. When Motta played, Inter raked up 95 % winning ratio including 7 consecutives victories. But when after he was sold, Inter lost 8 and drew 1, the results which ended in Ranieri dismissal.

It was then when Inter realized they relied on Motta too much in simple but important aspects. When Inter wanted to start the offence, the defenders tended to pass the ball to Motta so he roled as the offence starter. And, when the opponents were about to attack, Motta was their first barrier, held them out to buy the time for the defence to organize themselves. They were simple tasks, no flashy clearance, no spectacular interception, no killer pass, rarely shot. He was a jack of all trades, but without the jack, the royal flush won’t be completed.

7. Diego Milito (in : 20, out : ?)

The most expensive players in top 10 list. Inter bought the Milito and Motta in same time. Milito caught Inter eye with his outstanding achievement as second capocannoniere under Ibra with midtable club Genoa. But the reputation still didn’t convince most Interisti. Pressure in big club is completely different, let alone playing in UCL. Milito didn’t have any experience in high-level competition, not in club level, not in national team so it was just natural for every Interisti to doubt him. How relieved are the Interisti when he proved they were wrong. He proved that his Serie-A top scorer weren’t a fluke and he still is the main scorer machine for Inter. The final days of 3 competitions were his biggest stage. He scored all the winners to seal the treble. In Serie-A, 2 goals in 0-1 against Siena, 1-0 against Rome, and double again in 2-0 against B. Munich.

Although his reputation was tainted when injury plagued him thus got himself the Bidone D’oro (Serie-A biggest flop) award, he proved everyone that he still is the deadly striker by leading Inter scorechart and putting himself in 4th position in Serie-A top scorers with 20 goals.

6. Lucio (in : 7, out : ?)

He was Munich key defender until Van Gaal came and omitted him from his team plan. Mourinho-Oriali didn’t miss the chance and didn’t waste any second to land him in Inter with cut-price. Lucio teamed up with Samuel, forming Latino duet and they managed to quell down every attack thrown at them. Lucio became important element in Mourinho system and he showed his best individual defending quality when he completely nullified Drogba threat when Inter met Chelsea. Against Barcelona in semifinal, once again Lucio and co defended valiantly against the storm of Blaugrana. As Mourinho instructed to defend very deeply and centrally, letting Barca moved to flank and crossed the ball. Barca’s lack of aerial threat was one thing, but it were the quality of Lucio and Samuel which allowed Mourinho to let the crossing came as he trusted Lucio-Samuel would thwart the attack. And in final, Lucio got a sweet revenge against his former club and the coach who wasted him.

Currently, Lucio is not the same force as he was 2 years ago. Age has slowed down his movement and reaction. Also, he began to lost his discipline after Mourinho went and he started to do his trademark run again, much to the worry of the defence. Neverthless, Lucio is still key defender for Inter and he is still unreplaceable.

5. Maicon (in : 6.8, out : ?)

He was in Brazil national team since 2003 and became main right back after Cafu retired. But it was his move to Inter which emerged his name as the elite fullback. And after he won his personal duel with Dani Alvez, he confirmed himself as the world best right back and an automatic choice for Brazil right back spot.

As a marauding fullback, Maicon became an important attacking outlet from the right flank. Fast and powerful, he burst past the right flank leaving his marker in his trail then providing cross for Milito to finish. A typical Brazilian fullback just like Jorginho, Cafu, and Carlos. Defensively, he did his duty well and proved to be more reliable than Alves. And when the attack met the dead end, he would rise up as the saviour to break the deadlock. The goal against Juventus in 2010 was an absolute beauty which put every attacker in jealous. And his goal in World Cup 2010 against North Korea gave his team a momentum after scoreless 55 minute.

Again, the classic cases for most of Inter aging player. His magics faded after the treble season ended and his lowpoint were when he was bullied to death by Bale twice. Also, the 4-0 loss against Rome really put Maicon capability into question. It seems Maicon would never return to his old form, but Inter really did well by creating once world best full back from € 6.8 million player.

4. J. Cesar (in : 0, out : ?)

Snapped up by free transfer and soon loaned to Chievo. He was undisputed first team goalkeeper in Flamengo and he also was called up for Brazil in 2004. But he still had much to prove. With Toldo still delivered good performances between the post, it seemed Cesar would be his sub until his playing day was over or it would turn out to be failed transfer as Inter used to do. But Cesar took Toldo place faster than expected and he never looked back ever since. Everyone has already lost count on how many times Cesar has saved Inter from the losses. When it seemed Inter will concede a certain goal, came Cesar with his stunning save which put every Interisti to relief -and the opponent to frustration-.

His form continue until the world couldn’t deny he was the contender for old names like Casillas and Buffon as the world best goalkeeper. Too bad as Mourinho reign fell, he underwent slight decline and the defenders didn’t cover him as they used to. He bounced back again although not in same league as in 2009 medio. Still, the first place between Inter sticks belongs to him and virtually no one in Inter could take the place for several years. What a quality for 0 price transfers.

3. Esteban Cambiasso (in : 0, out : ?)

Another masterpiece transfer from Inter. Inter didn’t sweat over the transfer as thanks for broken concept of Los Galacticos by Fiorentino Perez. Perez was notorious for his unappreciative manner to defensive midfielder, manifested concretely by disposing his most important player Makelele. The next year after Makelele sold, Madrid didn’t extend Cambiasso’s contract and Inter got his signature without paying even single penny. The new signing contributed immediately in his first season by forming creative-destructive core in central midfield alongside Veron. Along with Kaka, Cambiasso and Veron were known as the best performing midfielder in 04/05 season. Veron and Kaka moved to other club, but Cambiasso pledged his loyalty to Inter and maintaning his level of performance in high gear for years.

As a defensive midfielder, Cambiasso is a different breed unlike his rivals in the position like Makelele and Gattuso. While both of them played hard and did whatever it took to dispossess their opponent, Cambiasso used gentle approach. His knack of being in correct timing and position allows him to intercept the ball without the risk of suffering foul and yellow card, let alone the red card. He began to lose form for a while when he frequently thrusted forward and acted as attacing midfielder, much to lose the possession cheaply and leaving the defence vulnerable. Still unknown either it was personal initiative of coach (read : Ranieri) instruction. Under Stramaccioni, he returns to his natural domain in pure defensive midfielder and he doesn’t disappoint. Perhaps it would take another few games to regain his confidence and instinct back and he will become world best defensive midfielder once again.

2. Samuel Eto’o (in : -70 mil, out : 15 mil)

The most beneficial trade ever in footbally history. Barca bought Ibrahimovic with cash plus Eto’o which has estimated cost 20 million thus made it 70 million worth transfer. Economically, Eto’o-Ibra trade is best trade ever because quality gap between them was not that far yet Barca cashed in 70 million for Inter. And the best transfer became even more better considering Inter managed to move the jynx to their rival as Ibra always succeed in leading his team to domestic league glory, but the bless is shadowed by his Champion League curse.

Eto’o became a key player in treble glory while Ibra failed hard in Catalan. Eto’o used to be the main goalscorer, but thanks to Mourinho he was willingly demoted to be Milito’s support. It was an utter surprise because Eto’o was known for his selfish character. Next season in 2010/2011, Eto’o singlehandedly propelled Inter to decent position in forgettable season. And then, at the beginning of 2011/2012 season, Anzhi offered 15 million for Eto’o. Of course the offer was too good to be turned down. Imagine, 15 million for 30 years old striker who began to lost his trademark speed. By the time Eto’o left to Russia, he brought the benefits which no one could ever imagine. The total was approximately 85 million cash with 5 trophies. Sweet

But wait, how come the best transfer ever is positioned at 2nd ? Well, the 1st must be so special, isn’t it ?

1. Javier Zanetti (In : 6,5, out : never)

Regardless how many million Euro and trophies Eto’o had brought to Inter, he would never beat Zanetti for the best transfer in Moratti history. Zanetti was the first transfer of Moratti and he was still unknown 21 years old Argentinian right back. Who ever guessed he would be one of the greatest player  ever –if not the greatest- in Internazionale Milano history ? Moratti himself admitted, Zanetti is the best transfer he has ever done. And, considering how much contribution he has given to Inter, 1st is the most appropriate position.

Maybe Zanetti didn’t bring in 75 million like Eto’o did, but he repaid his 6.5 million price tags with 797 caps, captain for 13 consecutive years, and 15 trophies Those were the statistics which any Inter players has never achieved and he still has the chances to add the tallies. Also, it was as if Inter bought 2 or 3 players simultaneously when they bought him. He runs up and down the pitch, sometimes from right flank to left, and he does it without stop. He is capable of playing in fullback, winger, defensive midfielder, and central midfielder. Don’t forget he can play at either flank, makes it 6 positions in total. Also, he rarely succumbs to injury and suspension thus allows him to play almost every match with his trademark outstanding consistency. Besides on-the-pitch contribution, Zanetti also gives off-the-pitch contribution such as exemplary attitude which is very rare in current football world. Simply, he is the dream perfect transfer for every club in the world.

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