Monday 24 May 2010

Sports & People: Inter Milan wins UEFA Champions League!!

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Champions League Final Poster 
from Wikipedia

Yes, it is yet another entry on football, again. But it was the biggest event in the football world and in Europe over the weekend, and I just can't help but to share with you my incredible joy that my favourite football team Inter Milan, has finally won the most prestigious UEFA Champions League after 45 years of waiting!!! And I just can't believe how lucky I was to have watched this happening!!!

If I am not wrong, it was 1997 when I first come across this team. At first, I thought watching football was a tedious thing to do, because it was as if a group of people are chasing the ball for nothing. I would prefer playing the game myself to watching it. But when I saw my fellow hostel friends watching the game passionately together, I thought there must be something to it. And then I saw the colours of the Inter Milan jersey, I immediately felt that this was the team that I would support.

Then I got to know the team better, and I realised that this is a team with lots of captains from their national teams, such as Roberto Baggio of Italy, Ronaldo of Brazil, Recoba of Uruguay, Cordoba of Colombia, Javier Zanetti of Argentina, they were all heroes of their own nation and yet they served at the same club. I simply found that intriguingly remarkable.

Roberto Baggio's Fighting Spirit

The club was already rather rich at that time and they could afford to spend lots of cash on purchasing big names, and they did, but for the next 8 years, the team hadn't played well at all, winning almost nothing. During that time, I watched Inter fighting and losing, more fighting and more losing, and one day I asked myself, "Why am I such a poor thing? Why do I love a football club that never wins? Wouldn't it be easier to like a club that always wins and so I could feel happy easily?"

But after asking those questions, I still stuck to Inter Milan, maybe I have found a club that resembles my character, that I see myself in this club.

Every success requires hard work, and nothing is smooth on the way. Inter battled and lost, they fell but they never gave up. Year after year, they improve a little by little. While others outran them in terms of improvement, they continue to fight. While some other Italian clubs are involved in match-fixing, Inter stayed iron-willed and clean from the corruptions. And with the help of coach Roberto Mancini, Inter finally recaptured their Italian League Serie A champion trophies 3 years in a row (2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08). 

But the UEFA Champions League was then what the president of the club Massimo Moratti wanted and that was the reason José Mourinho replaced Mancini. Mourinho has done very well as a manager of Inter, winning two consecutive Serie A champions (2008/09, 2009/10), but the most impressive of all, was that he has brought the entire club, players and fans together, everyone supports everyone else, on and off the pitch. A player knows that his teammates will always be behind him, and the teammates behind him knows that the fans will always be behind him. This bond is something I have never seen before Mourinho's arrival, and I just love the feeling of being part of the team and to be involved in every match they play.

I won't spend too much time talking about the Final against Bayern Munich, as there are many good ones written (here is one of them). What I will say is, maybe you don't like football, maybe you don't like the team I like, but in the world of sports, there are many stories to be listened and many lessons to be learnt. When you hear one that find inspiring and enlightening, you should remember it, because one day, it might be just that one which would benefit you for the rest of your life.

Inter captain Javier Zanetti in action during his landmark 700th appearance for Inter

A treble of trophies. The "Flying Dutchman" Wesley Sneijder's first season contributions to Inter
from zimbio

Diego Milito celebrates putting Inter 2 - 0 up against Bayern Munich 
from zimbio

World-class goalkeeper Julio Cesar celebrates with his family
from zimbio

Captain Javier Zanetti celebrates winning the most important trophy of all in his 15th year for Inter
from zimbio

Inter captain Javier Zaneti lifts aloft the trophy 
from zimbio

An immensely satisfied coach José Mourinho
from zimbio

A night to remember for president Moratti 
from zimbio

Inter has shaped me, what has shaped yours?

Thank you Mourinho!! No matter where you go!

tedious -- (adj) boring
intriguingly -- (adv) very interesting because of being unusual or mysterious
resemble -- (vb) [T] to look like or be like someone or something