A dream of what may transpire…
This is purely speculative… well from a hopefully optimistic point of view. A quietly confident yet anxiously nervous feeling at the same time, bringing with it the flushing of old forgotten emotions straight back to the forefront of my very being. The events that will unfold in the 12/13 Serie A season and my beloved Nerazzurri once again taking their place on the top podium at the very end.
It is match day 38. Il Capitano, the legend himself, Javier Zanetti is in good spirits; his side are on the cusp of winning their 19th scudetto and their first since 2010. His squad have worked hard, they have fought hard and they have shed blood, sweat and tears for 8 months, but now they see the light at the end.
In a season that appeared as though it would reek of the same failure and mediocrity of the last, the fans have stood by them and supported them as they found inspiration and seized every single point they could.
Inter Milan are now 3 points away from victory. The league title. The championship. The scudetto.
It has been a tough season, with new faces in the dressing room, the departure of old faces, and the ever-present scrutiny and criticism from the media. This is Internazionale, however, and it is in their DNA to win, and win at all costs.
Andrea Stramaccioni, the first manager to survive his first full season since the great Jose Mourinho guided la squadra to the treble in 2009/10, looks calm and collected as he takes his place on the side of the pitch. All season he has been the epitome of confidence and coolness. The fans, in their deep criticism or open love of him have not caused him to flinch or yield.
His captain, Zanetti, rallies his troops. He is a workhorse, a centurion, a loyal soldier who fights with honour, perseveres through the thickest of adversity and commands the respect of his men – Pazzini; never before has a player brought so much redemption upon himself. The unkind words from the Curva Nord from a year ago have been bitterly swallowed, yet helped to choke down with the sweetness of the victory that may soon come.
Milito; not since that magical night in Madrid when he lit up the Santiago Bernabeu has the man known as Il Principe been such an asset to his club. The ability to completely outmanoeuvre and outsmart defenders is not lost and quickly displayed in a season which saw him dominate the goal scoring stats. Palacio and Longo; understudies due to the brilliance of Il Principe, but only for that reason, play a vital role in Inter once again adding trophies to its cabinet.
Alvarez; If Pazzini found redemption then Alvarez found his stride with Inter. Finally after fighting his way into regular starts, the young Argentinian trequartista has taken over from a Sneijder happy to leave for new pastures.
Ranocchia, Faraoni, Juan and Samuel – the new with the old guard. Providing one of the best defences in Serie A this season and helping to prove that Inter are still a main force, not just in Italy, but in Europe and the rest of the world. Ranocchia has found his groove in the black and blue and has cut the vocal chords of all doubters by showing just how vital he is as a cog in the Inter machine.
Cambiasso; the old man, the reliable, the dependable and the legendary. No tears of sadness this season, only tears of joy as he realises that on the cusp of success, there may still be years left in him as part of his club.
Obi, Coutinho and Guarin; The faces of a revitalised giant in football. They’re spectacle this season has been celebrated by the thousands of fans in Milan and the millions worldwide. They are respected, not for their talents but for the contributions and superb efforts for their club. Obi finally worked his way in as a starter through dedication, effort and brilliant talent. Guarin naturally lit up the pitch on every occasion.
Finally, there is one left.
Only Il Capitano has gained more respect than this one individual. This one custodian of the Nerazzurri whom is heart bleeds pure black and blue. He has seen the highest of the highs and the absolute lowest of the lows, but he has dedicated his talents, career even his life to defending the net for his club.
After a restoration of faith from the management and the feeling of relief that he would once again put on the gloves for Inter, Cesar vowed to make this his defining career… and it was. Making more stoppages than ever before and commanding his back line with pure authority, the man who would prove himself to be hero more often than any other squad member did so in a way never seen before in Serie A. It is this, inspiration in between the posts, the amount of dedication and courage that is taken, that inspires the team to it’s 19th
Follow Simon on Twitter – @SiCar