And it was Jose Mourinho who led the way.
Now, fresh off elimination from the 2018-19 Champions League, some talk suggests Inter Milan may be in the market to make a move and release manager Luciano Spalletti from his duties either now or at the end of the season.
To top it off, one of the names on the list to replace Spalletti is current Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.
Don’t get me wrong, any time there is the potential for an opening at the top for the Nerazzurri, the media will naturally insert the “Special One’s” name into the list simply because of historic value.
But the question is whether Mourinho would be as good a fit with the club now as he was eight years ago.
Since leaving Italy, Mourinho has seen success at Real Madrid — winning the Copa del Rey in his first season, the La Liga title in his second season and three consecutive Champions League semi final appearances.
After being dismissed from Madrid, Mourinho returned to Chelsea where he finished third in the Premier League and reached the semifinals of the Champions League in his first season back in London.
He won the League Cup and the Premier League in his second season before being terminated in the middle of the 2015-16 season.
After a year off, Manchester United named Mourinho its manager after parting ways with Louis van Gaal. He won the FA Community Shield in his first season and the Europa League in 2017, but since then it has been anything but glorious for Mourinho.
Arguments with Paul Pogba, questionable field decisions and challenging Ed Woodward and Manchester United upper management has been the dominating storyline for Mourinho of late.
Let’s be clear, Mourinho is a manager who seeks full control of a team. From budgets to transfers to on-field tactics, Mourinho wants to be in control of it all. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that the Red Devils have a much larger spending budget for players than Internazionale, which would be a big problem for Mourinho.
Also considering Steven Zhang and Beppe Marotta in command of the Nerazzurri, it would need to be a very big room to fit Mourinho into that mix.
Now, is Mourinho a great manager? I think previous accomplishments would have to suggest so, but would he be able to keep his ego in check for a return to Milan and that is the question I just don’t have the right answer for.
I suppose the first question to ask is: Is there cause for Inter to remove Spalletti from his duties? It’s been a struggle, there is no question. From last season’s mid-year collapse to barely qualifying for the Champions League. Then, you have the squad never seem in control of any of its Champions League matches only to watch them relegated to the Europa League following a 1-1 home draw to PSV Eindhoven in the final match day.
But, Spalletti has been hampered with an inability to splash money in the transfer seasons due to Financial Fair Play and Inter owners Suning Group wanting to make the club profitable.
Past flameouts with Gabriel Barbosa and Joao Mario — although the latter appears to have made a transformation of late — along with some questionable on-field decisions may leave cause for some to think it is time for Spalletti to go.
But, let’s not be too hasty.
We have to remember where we were just three and four years ago — languishing in the middle of Serie A with little to no hope of moving forward. It was Spalletti who led the charge with little in the cupboard to a fourth-place finish last season and the Champions League.
In summary, I just can’t see Mourinho fitting in with Marotta or Zhang in a situation that doesn’t bring an immense amount of unneeded drama to the club and the community.
But, of course, I could be wrong.
What do you think? Post your comments below!