CASH SPLASHED AS INTER AIM FOR DOUBLE
Moratti spends about 170 mln to fulfill the dream
He never had problems spending money to buy big names and he has done it again in a sensational way, spending more than moneybags Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, newly elected Real Madrid president Calderon or Milan’s Silvio Berlusconi in order to accomplish “Lo Scudetto” or the Champions League.Inter’s best chance to confirm their Champion status on the pitch might just be this year, seeing rivals Juventus demoted to Serie B and cousins Milan having an 8 point deficit.
170 million euros, (46.8mln €) of them to acquire new players and the remaining (122.8mln €) spent on contract renewals it is now up to Mancini to get the ball rolling and gel his team in time for a season full of high expectations. Knowing Moratti, he better be cautious since he might end up being a victim of his own abundance of stars.
Using a system of a 4-4-2, Mancini always lamented for being limited in attack, especially with Adriano and Martins, both having a poor season, besides the inconsistent Recoba it was only thanks to Cruz that the Nerazzurri bagged some decisive goals.
He was the only pure centre forward in the squad, and that is why Moratti opted to lure Hernan Crespo from Chelsea, who had already wore the black and blue stripes in the 2002-03 campaign. The Argentine forward joined Inter on a 2-year loan after failing to settle in the English Premiership. Having such a finisher like Crespo with a great club like Inter is a must these days. Able to roam in the penalty area and strike at the right time, Crespo is also dangerous using his head. The Argentine is able to partner every Inter striker seeing that there is no one with his characteristics.
The oil tycoon had another card up his sleeve though; Zlatan Ibrahimovic, hooked by the idea to join his childhood favourite team Inter, after Juventus were sent down to Serie B. A typical second striker willing to play behind the centre forward, hold up the ball, and create space for the other forward. The 24 mln € signing is very able to dribble past defenders thanks to his technique and strength. He can quite easily partner Crespo or Adriano who have a more attacking style to their play seeing that Zlatan lacks finishing, which incidentally is his only weak point. Ibrahimovic’s arrival was the reason of Martins’ departure to Newcastle seeing that there is also Recoba who can play in the same role of these two.
Moratti was obliged to search for a defensive midfielder to replace the departing Veron who was on his way back to his homeland in search of concluding his career with Estudiantes. Another discontented Juventino made his way to Via Durini, this time it was 9.5 mln € signing, Patrick Vieira who agreed a 4.5 mln €-a-year deal in order to form the central couple alongside Cambiasso. Vieira was the most suitable holding midfielder to replace Veron. The French international’s defensive skills are higher than those of the Argentine where as the latter had more vision and could go forward more often. Vieira’s acquisition is intended for the slow pace of Serie A and for the leadership competence and winning mentality, which are valuable in the European game.
Following the failures of Helveg, Guly, Favalli or Wome, Moratti was to end the left back position headache. Maxwell and Grosso are those who are expected to enhance the left wing, with the Brazlian also able to play in midfield. He was signed from Ajax whilst the Italian was signed for only 5mln €. Too good he was acquired before his World Cup heroics in Germany.
“Il Capitano” Javier Zanetti isn’t in his teen years anymore, and the Inter board reacted quite wisely to engage Douglas Maicon from Monaco who already showed his potential during pre-season action. Able to run down the flanks and defend in the expense of the offensive Figo on the right side, the 25 year old is a great signing for Mancini.
An exchange of two players between Inter and title challengers Roma was to be held; Pizarro and Dacourt. In search of more playing time the Chilean left Inter on a co-ownership deal with Inter bagging 6.5 mln €, whilst the French midfielder came on a free transfer. Dacourt is very similar to Vieira whilst Pizarro was very similar to Veron and Mancini may have opted for this change, choosing strength and ball winning rather than fantasy in the middle was down to the abundance of offensive-minded players in the squad. Having signed these players, Inter had to re-size their squad. Mihajlovic was appointed assistant coach to Roberto Mancini whilst Cristiano Zanetti, Ze Maria, Favalli, Kily Gonzalez and Cesar departed. It was Mariano Gonzalez from Palermo who filled the spot left by the Brazilian midfielder.
Had anyone, in June, stated that Vieira, Crespo, Ibrahimovic would be Inter players by the end of the summer no one have believed it, but thanks to Moratti’s will and wealth this is a reality which will be lived throughout next season. A season, which all Inter fans hope, will deliver glory and achievements.