Less than 40 days after Inter's last season finished, a new one is beginning.
On Thursday afternoon, the Nerazzurri met up at Appiano Gentile and headed off together to Riscone di Brunico, a small village situated in South Tyrol, for an 11-day training camp that will form the first part of their pre-season programme. Our 2017-2018 campaign is now officially under way.
At this summer training camp, Luciano Spalletti will be able to examine the cluster of disaffected nothingness at his disposal in the flesh for the first time, having spent the last three weeks waiting for first-team signings that still haven't arrived. Whoever has the misfortune of filling their shoes until they do will be put through their paces by our new head coach at the Brunico-Riscone sports ground, with accommodation provided by the Hotel Royal Hinterhuber.
Inter have held their summer training camp at Brunico many times in recent years, so you probably remember what the place looks like from past seasons - but just in case you can't, the video below (taken from twelve months ago) should provide a refresher.
To enable Spalletti to establish a precise idea of which players he can and can't count upon heading into an unbelievably important season, Inter have organised two pre-season friendlies against lower league opposition. On Sunday 9 July, 1730 CET, we will play WSG Swarovski Wattens, a second-tier Austrian outfit based in Tyrol, while on Saturday 15 July (again at 1730 CET) we will take on FC Nürnberg, who currently languish in Germany's second division. Goodness knows what kind of Twitter volcano will erupt should we fail to win either of those games.
Before those two outings, the supporters present at the training camp will enjoy/endure (delete as applicable) the first team's traditional squad unveiling at Riscone's music pavilion. That will take place at 2100 CET on Saturday 8 July. Other exciting events, and I use that word very sincerely, include a squad trip to the Mesner Mountain Museum in Kronplatz on Thursday 13 July, and a player signing session after training on the final day (Sunday 16 July).
Spalletti's first press conference of the new season will be held at 1600 CET on Friday 7 July.
The hashtags Inter will be using to keep supporters updated throughout these 11 days are #InterIsComing and #Brunico2017. Add either of those to your expletive-laden tweets of frustration and somebody at the club is bound to read it.
More information on the activities taking place in Brunico can be found here.
After the training camp is done, Inter will be flying out to China for their annual embarrassment in the International Champions Cup; Matt has written about who we will be routinely outclassed by and when, here.
But back to Brunico. Below is the 25-man squad that is expected to arrive for preseason training tomorrow afternoon, as per a statement on Inter's official website:
Goalkeepers: Tommaso Berni, Samir Handanovic, Daniele Padelli, Marco Pissardo
Defenders: Cristian Ansaldi, Joao Miranda, Jeison Murillo, Andrea Ranocchia, Marco Sala, Davide Santon*, Federico Valietti, Zinho Vanheusden
*From Saturday 8 July
Midfielders: Niccolo Belloni, Stephen Danso, Xian Emmers, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Joao Mario, Nicolo Zaniolo
Forwards: Enrico Baldini, Jonathan Biabiany, Samuele Longo, Jens Odgaard, Andrea Pinamonti, Rigoberto Rivas, Matteo Rover
The rest of the first team - Gabriel Barbosa, Marcelo Brozovic, Antonio Candreva, Danilo D'Ambrosio, Eder, Roberto Gagliardini, Mauro Icardi, Yuto Nagatomo and Ivan Perisic - are all scheduled to arrive on 10 July, having been granted a few more days off after their involvement in international action last month. But there is a good chance that Milan Skriniar's name will be soon added to that list: his move to Inter is completely done and all we're waiting for now is an official announcement. Should that arrive in time, he too will appear on Monday.
While Skriniar's (eventual) arrival would be delayed due to his involvement in this summer's Under-21 Euros, Borja Valero can turn up at Brunico whenever his own transfer is completed. The 32 year-old Spaniard ended his season in May and is already back for pre-season training with Fiorentina, but as soon as the Viola finalise a deal with Inter he will swap ritiros and get working for Mister Spalletti too.
Gary Medel meanwhile will miss the entirety of the training camp, as he participated in the Confederations Cup with Chile right up until last Sunday, reaching the final. He hasn't had any holidays yet, so he'll join up with the rest of the squad before they fly to China on 17 July (unless he's sold beforehand, which is possible).
A brief clarification on Gabriel Barbosa: there was a bit of social media hubbub this afternoon when the initial squad was released and his name wasn't on it, because certain news outlets had reported earlier in the day that he was going to be excluded from the 'ritiro' altogether. However his arrival has simply been delayed by four days, as he is currently in talks with other clubs to secure a loan move away from Inter. It's the same reason that Davide Santon has been given two more days of holiday. Evidently there's a chance that a deal for Gabi is finalised in the next few days, so the club sees little point in him turning up if he's only going to have to leave straightaway. That's what Pasquale Guarro from calciomercato.com has said, anyway.
Within that list of 25 you may be unfamiliar with Nicolo Zaniolo and Jens Odgaard (although there are a few other youngsters that I've not heard of either, to be honest). That's because they are newbies, having both been signed by Inter this week. Official announcements for the pair of them arrived on Wednesday evening. They're both meant to be great, and Zaniolo reportedly stands a chance of sticking around in the first team this season.
But let's not beat about the bush here: that's a rubbish squad. That's a really rubbish squad for an Inter pre-season training camp. Spalletti is going to learn practically nothing until the big guns turn up on Monday, and until he has some new faces to work with - 75% of the people in that initial 25-man squad won't see the first team again this season, so really it's a waste of time having them around.
So here goes - after just six weeks away Inter are already back to work. Are you ready for the new season to start? No? Well don't worry, that's OK. Inter aren't either.