Seven years ago today, Inter defeated Bayern Munich 2-0 in the 2010 Champions League Final at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to cap the most amazing season in the illustrious 109-year history of Inter Milan.
Led by Jose Mourinho and a squad full of dedicated stars and proven leaders, our Nerazzurri became the first Italian team to win the treble, the most prestigious honor a club can achieve. At the time, Inter were only the sixth European side to accomplish such a feat. We were on top of the world.
As I’m sure you all do, I remember exactly where I was when Diego Milito slotted in the 70th minute dagger, his second goal of the final, to seal the victory. One of my best friends from high school was a Bayern Munich fan, and I watched the game at his house — it was surreal (and I still haven’t let him live it down).
That treble-winning team had more than just stars, it was also full of character. Players like Zanetti, Samuel, Chivu, Maicon, Cambiasso, and to a lesser, more senior extent, Cordoba and Materazzi ensured that the talents of Eto’o, Milito, Sneijder and even Balotelli very rarely went to waste.
The grounded self-accountability in that dressing room was outstanding, and allowed Inter to edge out teams with equal (or even more) talent. Some of those names above were true legends both on and off the pitch.
Looking back, it’s hard not to be disappointed with what’s happened with the club since that amazing night seven years ago. Since 2010, the lows have greatly outnumbered the highs. Seven years is a long time, but seasons like this make that glorious moment seem even more of a distant memory.
May 22nd is a day to reflect upon and celebrate the greatest season in Inter’s history. But it also serves as stark reminder of how far away this current group of Nerazzurri truly is from being able to replicate the feat.
Inter won’t be down forever. There are ebbs and flows to the success of every club in the world, and I expect things will turn around for Inter soon. With the right future investments and manager, the club will once again be in contention for Italy and Europe’s top prizes.
Will Inter ever win the treble again? Your guess is as good as mine. We’re a long way off now, so let’s take a moment to reflect and celebrate a time when Inter were the best team in the world. A moment when our cherished, crazy club won the treble.