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October 21, 2020

Inter ready for goodbyes after reaching perfect peak

MADRID – Inter Milan’s Champions League triumph came as many of the squad reached the peak of their careers, with coach Jose Mourinho plotting an exit knowing the team may be just past their best next term.

Argentine striker Diego Milito, who scored both goals in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Madrid final to clinch an unprecedented Italian treble for Inter, is only now appearing on world soccer’s roll of honour despite being 30. Repeating his remarkable first season at the club where he scored 22 Serie A goals and netted the winners in the Italian Cup final, Italian league decider and the Champions League final will be nearly impossible.

Man-of-the-match Milito acknowledged that this was as good as it got and was surprisingly coy about whether he will stay at Inter. “I’m very happy at Inter but I have to consider my future,” he told a news conference before remarking on the club’s success. “We have done something historic that has never happened in Italian football. But still we don’t properly understand what we have achieved.” Mourinho was his usual cryptic self after becoming only the third manager to win a Champions League with two different clubs. The Portuguese hinted very strongly that he is on the verge of joining Real Madrid, without stating categorically that he is definitely leaving Italy but was again moaning at how tough life is for a coach there given the critical and cynical atmosphere. Mourinho was quoted by Spanish media on Monday saying that he needed assurances from the La Liga club that he would be free to run the team himself if he took charge. “I want to see what they can offer me so that I have no concerns about being able to start my work,” the 47-year-old was quoted as saying by As sports daily. “The president is not the one who wins, he’s not the one who plays and nor does he decide who is in the team and who is on the bench,” he added in Marca. “That’s the responsibility of the professionals: the coach, the technical structure that depends on him and the players. “I believe that the coach is a very important person in the whole club structure because he should lead all the departments linked to the first team.” Real have yet to make any official comment about whether Chilean Pellegrini, who has a year left on his contract, will be sacked and replaced by Mourinho. After becoming only the third manager to win the Champions League with two different clubs, Mourinho hinted he was on the verge of joining Real. “I need to meet with some (Real) people with whom I have not yet spoken to,” As quoted the former Porto and Chelsea boss as saying in their Monday edition. “I want to get to know the people, listen to their impressions and know exactly what they expect of me and the conditions,” he added.

Chivu applauded in Resita

After playing for 68 minutes in the Champions League final that Inter won in Madrid, Cristi Chivu arrived yesterday in Romania in order to take part in the national football team’s training stage and also to attend the unveiling of his father’s bust statue in his home-town. Mircea Chivu was the head coach of the football team in Resita, the town where Cristi was born and started his football career. Cristi was enthusiastically welcomed by the people of Resita and he signed autographs. The white marble bust statue on which four sculptors worked will be placed within the stadium that bears the same name: Mircea Chivu. Cristi Chivu’s mother, sister, wife and friends were in the stands at the Champions League final in Madrid. His father died on April 1, 1998.

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