Inter are as strong as ever this season albeit without their out spoken coach Jose Mourinho. Rafael Benitez is now at the helm and the Scudetto will be the minimum requirement.
Last season: 2009/10 was the season that Inter swept away all before them. Starting with the Super Coppa the Nerazzurri went on to win the Coppa Italia the Scudetto and of course the Champions League. It was hard to pick fault with a season that will go down in history.
2010 summer transfer campaign Inter so far have seen Jonathan Biabiany return from a loan spell with Parma whilst Philippe Coutinho has arrived from Vasco De Gama. He can play anywhere in midfield or in the front three and is a man to watch this season. Luca Castellazzi has also been brought in due to the retirement of Francesco Toldo whilst the seemingly endless questions over the arrival of Javier Mascherano and the departures of Mario Balotelli and Douglas Maicon continue. Giuseppe Sculli is also apparently close to signing whilst Marko Arnautovic (Werder Bremen) and Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas) have left the club.
The Coach: Rafael Benitez has an almost impossible act to follow. Jose Mourinho won everything and the only way that the new man can top this is by doing it in style. This is exactly what he intends to do and he has the experience and the tools to do the job but the pressure will be on from day one.
Anchorman: Javier Zanetti embodies what Inter are as a club, he is hard working and he gets results regardless of style. With 501 appearances for the club, the captain’s resilience and stamina is an inspiration to the entire squad as he regularly attacks and defends from right back.
Playmaker: Wesley Sneijder’s influence in Inter’s all conquering season was phenomenal. His ability to create something out of nothing and the constant fear he puts into teams every time he gets the ball is only matched by his ability to score decisive goals. If he can score more regularly he will be unstoppable.
Hot Prospect: Philippe Coutinho was signed from Vasco De Gama for just under £3m in 2008 although he remained there on loan until the start of this season. Blessed with supreme skill his fantastic pre season hints that this two footed attacking midfielder could be on his way to big things at Inter.
2010/11 prediction: Despite losing Mourinho Inter have a lot to look forward to this season. Benitez is an experienced coach who has pedigree in the Champions League and the transfer kitty suggests that even if they lose Maicon or Balotelli they have the funds to replace them. They have a team of experienced winners sprinkled with some fantastic young talent and it is hard to see them not lifting the Scudetto this year as they seem much stronger than any of their nearest rivals. A Champions League victory requires luck as well as a fantastic team so all Inter need is fortune to favour them once again.
Football Italiano’s prediction: 1st