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A Brave New World For Inter

As Erick Thohir embarks on his tenure as the new Inter president, Massimo Moratti's legacy will never be forgotten.

The New Era
The New Era
Pier Marco Tacca

Erick Thohir was officially unveiled as the new president of Inter after months of negotiations and premature proclamations.

The Moratti family will still be heavily involved with the club with Massimo acting as honorary president and Angelomario continuing his duties as vice-president.

It truly is the end of an era for the Nerazzurri as Moratti passes the baton to Thohir to take to the finish line.

Most owners would have cashed out with a big, fat smile and not one iota of remorse. Moratti was not like most presidents though. He was reluctant to sell until the very end and only did so when certain clauses were agreed upon.

He reportedly included a clause to repurchase Inter if certain expectations were not met. He wanted to make sure his club was taken care of because it is still his team even though he is no longer the president. He has been an Interista since he was a little boy and will continue to be until his last breath in this world.

The passionate fury that possessed John Coltrane to play his sax is the same that lives in Moratti; Inter is his love supreme. It wouldn't surprise me if these clauses drove down the purchase price of the Nerazzurri.

Moratti wanted assurances that the club would be left in good hands and if that meant taking a hit in the wallet then so be it. Thohir owns DC United in MLS and the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA. Both teams have struggled in recent years but If Moratti vouches for him, then that has to be good enough for me.

Some billionaires purchase football clubs to add to their collection of yachts, McMansions and Picassos. Owning a club has become just another status symbol for the nouveau riche; a trendy means to join an elite clique.

For Moratti it was different as it was about true love. He was not a poor man by any stretch of the imagination but he literally grew up with Nerazzurri legends. He spoke with them, touched them, felt them.

As in all high-profile love affairs, there were some glorious moments, never to be forgotten but also some tumultuous affairs with the dirty laundry aired on the front page of major dailies.

While the likes of Nirvana, the Screaming Trees and Soundgarden were leading a musical revolution in the 90s, Inter fell on some black days. It was a trying time to be a Nerazzurri fan. What could go wrong usually did and in the most absurd way possible.

Worst case scenarios had a penchant of coming to fruition. The club could not shake its deserved tag as underachievers. The decade came and went without a Scudetto to show for its troubles despite Moratti breaking the world record transfer fee on two occasions. It seemed as if it was Inter's destiny to remain perennial bridesmaids.

But Moratti would not let it happen. The mid-naughts ushered in a new era of success that the club had not seen since the 'Grande Inter' of the 1960s. The Nerazzurri had five straight Serie A titles to show for their efforts from 2005-10. Moratti's highest vision for his club came to fruition on May 22, 2010 when Inter beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League, beating Barcelona, the so called 'best team' of all-time, along the way in the semi-finals.

The Beneamata had won the 'triplete' and are the only club in the history of Italian football that can lay claim to that honor. Moratti also played an integral role in exposing the black hand that influenced Calcio for so long (we don't talk about Calciopoli, Israeli foreign policy and Italian wedding politics here).

Fast forward three years and Inter have slipped into mid-table mediocrity. Moratti's oil company had been bleeding money and has not paid dividends for a few years now. He cut the wage bill and the likes of Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Mario Balotelli, Samuel Eto'o, and Wesley Sneijder left the club.

Moratti wanted Inter back among Italy's elite and the only way he saw this happening was to sell the club. A sobering thought no doubt for a big fan of the club. Inter was always his number one priority.

Moratti will be sorely missed in these parts. His passion for the club is unmistakable, his love for the Nerazzurri undeniable. A true Interista to the core.

People have grandiose visions of what Inter will become. World class stars will once again wear black and blue, even as soon as January. We will break the world transfer record again and rainbows and unicorns will be regular features at the Meazza.

Whether Thohir is the saviour that many fans desperately want him to be is unknown but it's no secret as to what we have lost.