Inter’s season comes down to this: two games. Two games in which they will either seal a treble or end the season with only the Coppa Italia residing in the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza trophy cabinet.
This first of these games is this Sunday against Siena, and although it is away, as long as Inter give 100 per cent they should have no trouble with the already-relegated Bianconeri. But the final day of the season often springs surprises, so the Nerazzurri will have to be on their guard. Of course, should Roma fail to beat Chievo at the Stadio Olimpico, then Inter do not need to win.
The announcement of Diego Maradona’s provisional World Cup squad this week has left many Inter fans bewildered as to why two of the Nerazzurri’s finest will only be watching the tournament this summer. Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso, two players who would make almost any other squad in the world, have both been overlooked by Argentina’s eccentric Coach. Considering the fine form that both have been in for the Milanese side and how they have both played a pivotal role in the Champions League run, it is difficult to see the logic in Maradona’s decision. The decision to leave out Zanetti is especially puzzling, considering that il Trattore is arguably the most consistent player in Serie A, and could also provide cover at a number of different positions. President Massimo Moratti has spoken out about the decision, saying that he is as hurt as his two stars at their omission, but also happy for Walter Samuel and Diego Milito who have been selected. When Moratti – who has bought such titans as Javier Farinos, Hakan Sukur and Carlos Gammara to Inter – thinks that a decision is crazy, it probably is.
The uncertainty over Jose Mourinho’s future at the club continues to provide an entertaining selection of rumours. One of the better rumours this week has been the claim that should ‘The Special One’ leave, Inter are looking to bring Rafa Benitez in as his replacement. Swapping a Coach who may well lead the club to the treble for one that has just guided Liverpool to the giddy heights of 7th in the Premier League would be a decision so strange that it would make Maradona’s selection policy look very sensible. On the other hand, given Benitez’s inability to win league titles in recent years, it might well make the race for lo Scudetto even more competitive, and the Inter faithful will surely look forward to seeing the likes of Yossi Benayoun and Dirk Kuyt in Nerazzurri colours next season.
Mourinho himself is remaining infuriatingly vague on his future. This week he said that he expects to coach Real Madrid “sooner or later”, which has raised questions as to whether he will join the Spanish club if he wins the Champions League with Inter on the 22nd. One hopes that this constant speculation will have no effect on the squad’s preparation for their games with Siena and the Champions League final, as the uncertainty must be difficult to deal with.
The award for most bizarre story of the week goes to the article stating that an Italian man is taking legal action against Jose Mourinho for comments the Coach made after Inter’s victory over Chievo last weekend. The man alleges that the comments made by Mourinho that Roma would pay Siena to beat Inter were incendiary, and could well have instigated violence. A complaint has been lodged with the Rome’s prosecutor’s office, and the Inter Coach may end up in court to defend his words should the case make it that far. Life at Inter is very rarely boring.