Sunday, July 04, 2010

Massimo Moratti and a toy called “Inter”. (Part II)

Almost every season since his arrival in 1994, Inter was starting as a favorite for winning the Italian Scudetto. Why? Because boss Moretti made some good deals on the transfer market. It would always turned out that the players that came to Inter were either big names with tired feet or an-affirmed players that would, because of mad politic of piling old stars ,become great players in other teams.

When there was need for a good attacking midfielder or forward in 1996, Moratti bought the Frenchman Yuri Djorkaeff, who was at the peak of his glory. End he played good for Inter. But two years later the market offered the opportunity for hiring Roberto Baggio, Italian star who was already wasted and wasn’t on targeted by the big clubs. Moratti was thrilled with prospect of having that name in his team. But then Baggio and Djorkaeff started bumping on each other on the field. Although everyone were telling him that these two can’t play together, he was saying:”Good players are never to many”. 

Since these two weren’t enough for him, he bought young prospects Adrea Pirlo and Alvaro Recoba. They were both aiming for forward position at that time. The worst happened to Pirlo. In Inter, at least. Because of great visionary Moratti, he was forced to become the best Italian player wearing colors of their city rival, Milan.

From 1997 to 2002, definitely the best player of that time, Brazilian Ronaldo, played for Inter. Someone maybe even remembers that episode of his career but he, from that period, remembers very little playing football. Most of his time there he spent on treatments. Although Moratti believed in his recovery and provided him his full support, after his recovery, Ronaldo decided to go to Real Madrid where he played even better. Only symbolically it will be remembered that Ronaldo was proclaimed for the best player in the world, twice, while he was playing for Inter. First time in 1997, when he arrived, and the second time in 2002, when he was leaving Inter.

In the same period, Moratti bought Christian Vieri for 48 million Euros, which was a record for that time. To be honest, Vieri played good for Inter for a few seasons, but he was never the best player in the world, and Inter almost won a trophy in 2002, when they lost the first place in the last game of the season by Juventus.

Until 2004, when Inter bench was claimed by Roberto Mancini, Moratti has changed 13 coaches (that’s for 9 years only). Moratti’s hot bench was occupied by such great names like Champions League winner Marcello Lippi and Hector Cuper, who had, with Valencia, played twice in the finals of Champions League. But they were never good enough for boss Moratti. His relationship with the players was always good, but his relationship with coaches was twice bad. He liked to mess around with their business and decide who they should bring.

And how good he was with that tells the example of a famous exchange he did with their city rival Milan. Andrea Pirlo, greatest Italian talent at that time, and Clarence Seedorf, a player who won Champions League with three different teams, where exchanged for Francesco Coco, Thomas Helveg and Umit Davala – players that no one even remembers that they played in Calcio.

It is interesting that except the Argentinean Javier Zanetti, none Moratti’s player ever left a mark in Inter, like in some other club. Zanetti is in Inter from 1995 and he has become a captain and a leader of this generation. He is also the first player Moratti brought.

In the past 10 years Inter was a true cemetery of famous football players. From goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi, who came to Inter at the end of his career, to defenders Loran Blanc and Fabio Cannavaro, who went to Real Madrid as the best player in the world and when he didn’t fulfill the expectations there was no problem making a room for him in Inter. Practically, the only veteran that paid of to Moratti was Siniša Mihajlovic, who had, besides his three and a half decades, scored goals from his famous free kicks.

Moratti has once told that he had often asked himself, after strenuous day where he spent 30 or 40 million Euros, if he is doing the right thing. “I am always convinced that I am doing the right thing. But when contract is signed and I put all my cards on the table, I often ask myself if I made a mistake”. He is really lucky for not having anyone in his family to breath in his neck because of the way he is running the club. They are probably looking at the bright side of the story; at least he isn’t running the family business.

 For years he had suffered insults from his nationals. Milan fans have even printed a book called “You’ll never win” which they dedicated to all great investments of Massimo Moratti. Inter fans love him but mainly because they know how much he loves Inter. After many unsuccessful seasons they probably all came across an idea that maybe some other rich guy should take over the club.

When the great scandal happened in which Inter’s most fierce rivals, Milan and Juventus, were involved, Moratti’s door to significant trophies opened. With Mancini Inter was a champion for three times, and two times more with Mourinho. In Europe these successes weren’t credited enough. A lot of football experts said that because of kicking Juventus to the second league, Italian league won’t be what it used to be for a long time and that a value of Scudetto is lesser than before.

Even Jose Mourinho made him look like a naïve rich guy who trusts people to much. He didn’t dignify him of returning to Milan together to celebrate the title, he rather stayed in Madrid to leave his bank account to the officials of Real Madrid and to explore real estate market in the capital of Spain.

That Massimo didn’t learned a great deal of things over the past 15 years, he showed in less than 48 hours after the finals when he started, in a tone of a spoiled rich guy, announcing who will be next on his shopping list. Steven Gerrard from Liverpool and Bastian Shweinsteiger from Bayern. Its needleless to say that they play on similar positions in the team. He was also announcing a lot of names as a replacement for Mourinho. Now Benitez took the job. Since its never boring in Milan, we’ll see how this love affair will end.

To read Massimo Moratti and a toy called “Inter”. (Part I), click HERE.

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