After a long wait the big game is upon us. Okay so it’s only the first game of the Champions League season but its been a long wait since we got dumped out of the competition last season. And I will be the first to admit Inter has sucked in this competition for 45 years. 45! That is crazy considering we had won it back to back and were playing the final to become the first team in history to win the European Cup three times. Since then its been a lot of near misses and spectacular disasters. I still love this competition though and I love the Inter squad that Moratti and Mourinho have assembled this year and will remain optimistic that we will go far and we will be protagonist in this competition.
No better way for Inter to start off the competition than against the reigning champions. A team that has been playing together for several years now and has its own culture of playing the game. Barcelona plays the best looking football in the world right now and the type of football all teams aspire to achieve. They hold on to possession, pass you to death and create chance after chance till they score. Then score, then score some more. They’ve built the team from the youth system and have added a few players here and there just to complete the setup. This year they’ve added only two players who happen to be ex-Inter players; Maxwell and Ibrahimovic.
This game has tons of plot lines to make it that much more juicy than the line-ups and history of the teams already suggest.
- The Return of Ibra: By now we all know the circumstances in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic left us and all the things hes said about us since he’s left. Ungrateful. However we did get Eto’o and 50 million Euros that paid for Lucio, Motta, Schneider and Milito. So basically thanks Ibra and hope you have a good time in Spain. There has been a huge Internet debate as to how the Inter fans should treat him during the game. I personally am siding with the indifference argument as a man with his ego will be hurt more by silence than booing.
- The Champions League Debut of Diego Milito: Can you believe that a player of the quality and class of Diego Milito has never played in the Champions League? Well what better game to show what the world has been missing than this one. Since his arrival he has been such a pleasant surprise. He is the anit-Ibra; selfless, modest, hard working and a genuinely nice person. This isn’t to say I didn’t like Zlatan, but this guy is the complete opposite. His understanding with Eto’o and Balotelli has been quick and he is fun to watch.
- Points to Prove: Eto’o, Ibrahimovic, Schneider. These three all have certain points they wanna prove to the world. Ibrahimovic wants to one up Inter and show them that he is in a team that plays his vision of football, and that he can play on the biggest stage. Eto’o want to show Barcelona that they made a huge mistake letting him go. All the quotes you here from his former teammates is that they were shocked he was sold. The guy was clutch in the biggest games, scored in said games yet was still let go. Not only was he let go he was included in a transfer that made it seem his value was not that of a guy who just scored in both their last two CL finals. Wesley Schneider will be playing with a chip on his shoulder all season to prove to Real Madrid that they have no idea what they are doing. They let go of a star and he will show them what he could do to their biggest rival. Can’t wait to see what he does.
The line-up has been announced by Mourinho in yesterdays meeting: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Zanetti, Stankovic (or Muntari), Motta; Schneider; Eto’o, Milito. That is the A+ squad. Cambiasso on the bench will give a huge boost to the team as to me he is the most intelligent player we have and his importance to the team is immense. Balotelli will definitely get a chance to play in this game at some point especially after his influential performance against Parma.
Inter and Barca have had a great relationship in recent times. Massimo Moratti and Joan Laporta have had a great relationship. Business between the two clubs is always smooth and I hope it stays that way. I also hope we put in a performance that will make the rest of Europe rise up and notice.