With the international break over, Inter’s players come back from all around the world to the far less glamorous task of getting three points away to Bologna. After seeing their lead cut to five points atop Serie A in the last round, the Nerazzurri will be anxious to make sure that they re-assert themselves this weekend.
Despite their poor league position, Bologna are not a club that should treated with contempt. Adailton, Marco Di Vaio and Pablo Osvaldo may have only scored 10 goals between them so far, but provide a good attacking threat and the team are full of confidence after good performances against Roma and Palermo. Rossoblu Coach, Franco Colomba, certainly seems up for the challenge, and has been talking up his side’s chances of getting a result against the champions on Saturday. “We have to believe we can do it. If we don’t we might as well stay at home,” he said, “We can win, but only if we raise our game. It will be difficult, but it can happen in football.”
Inter go into the game with a squad that is reasonably free of injury, so Jose Mourinho has a lot of options when selecting his side. It will be tempting to go all out offensive, especially against a comparatively weak team, but the Coach will know that conceding early in away games makes for a very tough afternoon. With Diego Milito fully fit, la Beneamata will have the Milito and Samuel Eto’o combination that should be far too much for Bologna’s defence to cope with, as long as the Milanese side keep calm and confident it should be a fairly routine afternoon.
As always with the international break, there have been a lot of rumours surrounding Inter. One such story that has been around involves Jose Mourinho and a possible move to manage Real Madrid in the event that Manuel Pellegrini gets sacked. An Italian journalist has suggested that Florentino Perez sees Mourinho as the ideal man to lead Madrid, whilst Massimo Moratti has a contingency plan should the Portuguese Coach leave. This is a somewhat far-fetched theory, especially given that Mourinho has recently been talking about how he is planning for the future at Inter by restructuring the training complex.
One rumour with a little more substance could be the talk of Ricardo Quaresma’s return to Sporting Lisbon in his native Portugal. The 26-year-old has found himself completely out of favour at the Giuseppe Meazza and will surely have to leave if he is to find first team football again. Although Quaresma has struggled recently, when playing in Portugal he has been nothing short of sublime, and he would likely see a return as a way to revive his career. As if his current situation is not bad enough, Quaresma also finds himself on the shortlist for the Bidone d’Oro (Golden Bin) award, given to the biggest flop of the year in the Italian league. This gives him an unenviable chance of retaining the award that he picked up last year!
The best story of the week goes to ‘Super’ Mario Balotelli, who confessed his support for bitter rivals AC Milan to an audience at the Istituto Don Gnocchi. When questioned about his allegiance by an autograph hunter, he replied, “I am a Milanista. Didn’t you know that?” Balotelli risks his nickname being changed from ‘super’ to ‘controversial’ if his behaviour continues, and he has hardly endeared himself to the Inter fans this season despite his good performances. His sister Cristina – who also acts as his PR agent (and goodness knows he needs one) – has moved quickly to dismiss his words, claiming that her brother was joking. “He just wanted to crack a joke to attract the attention of the children. To be honest, I don’t know who he supports,” she said. But she then added – proving that she is definitely a Balotelli – “He did support Milan when he was a young boy.” Maybe in the absence of Marco Materazzi, Balotelli is making a run at the title of Football Italiano’s favourite player.
Inter Club Focus 2009/10
Another Scudetto for the Nerazzurri? – August 18, 2009
A stuttering start, and a Portuguese explosion – August 25, 2009
It’s derby time – August 28, 2009
A wonderful derby but the champions of Europe are waiting – September 1, 2009
All is well for la Beneamata – September 4, 2009
International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)
Friendlies, injuries and stolen boots… – September 7, 2009
Nerazzurri look to the future as Ibra looks back – September 11, 2009
Inter get a point, but that’s not the point – September 18, 2009
They never had a problem with ugly wins – September 22, 2009
Partenopei are beaten Black and Blue – September 25, 2009
Blucerchiati run rings round Inter – September 29, 2009
Champions League? You’re having a laugh – October 2, 2009
I’d rather be lucky than good – October 6, 2009
The international break – October 6, 2009
International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)
Transfer Talk – October 13, 2009
Back to Genova – October 16, 2009
The Puzzle continues – October 20, 2009
What next? – October 23, 2009
Papering over the cracks – October 27, 2009
The pressure is on as Inter almost throw it away against Palermo – October 30, 2009
Judgement day awaits – November 3, 2009
Just in time – November 6, 2009
A draw with Roma, but things look good – November 10, 2009
Back to the day job – November 20, 2009