A #Timeless2010 Inter Calling special with Chivu and Cordoba


Our two Triplete champions looked back on some behind-the-scenes stories from that incredible season in 2009/10

MILAN - The fundamental moments, from Kiev to London; the training sessions at maximum intensity; the battle against Roma in the Coppa Italia final; the race for the Scudetto and that night in Madrid. So many moments made up the 2009/10 season, and Chivu and Cordoba walked us through them in a special #Timeless2010 edition of Inter Calling.

The first mention went to the start of the season and the new arrivals at Inter, as Chivu recalled: “Those who arrived in the summer added something to the team, we’d signed big players like Milito and Samuel Eto’o. Even though we lost the Super Cup, we played well, and you could already see the signs of a strong team, especially in the second half.”

Cordoba named Kiev as one of the most important moments from that year: “That game was so important and it captured a bit of the character of that team, our refusal to ever give up and how we’d fight for a result right until the end, we had players who always gave their all.”

Chivu fought against everything and everyone, including the injury suffered in Verona: “We were training so hard to make sure we were ready for Sunday, and Mourinho pushed us mentally too to make sure we knew that we could beat anyone, then we had the humility required and the will to do well. We had a great season. My injury? Given how serious it was, even I had doubts myself, but they assured me that I’d be back to how I was before, it was just up to me how long that took, and in the meantime I always had my teammates nearby. Even there Mourinho pushed me to overcome the fear and uncertainty, he suggested I travel with the team as early as London, but I still wasn’t quite there. In Romania they say that to achieve something of importance you need to make a sacrifice, there’s also a legend about it, and when I was in intensive care my wife told me that that was the sacrifice and that we’d win the Champions League that season. I thought she was crazy.”

For Cordoba, the system and determination were fundamental factors: “The 4-2-3-1 was decisive for the last few games, when teams left just a tiny hole open, Inter were ready to hurt them, you saw it in the game against Barcelona, that was the strongest team in history but we knew that they could also concede in behind. We were ready to hurt them and that’s exactly what we did. From Chelsea, that system started a way of playing that was just decisive.”

And then the second leg against Barcelona and Chivu’s stories: “I had to come off the bench in Barcelona and knowing that, I left the preparation beforehand to those who were starting, I kept it light and tried to ease the tension a little, and then when everyone went out I sat myself on the massage bed. Then they told me to put my boots on and go and warm up because I’d be coming on, so I did the warm-up alone. When I was there Mourinho told me that I’d be playing in left midfield, as an extra man to take care of Dani Alves, I told him I’d do everything because I knew I’d have my teammates alongside me giving their all too. Then Thiago Motta was sent off and I had to play in the middle with Cambiasso in front of the defence, I’ve never felt so competitive in my entire life because we knew it would be tough with ten of us, but we all managed to keep our concentration at the max.”

Two of the fiercest battles came in the league and in the Coppa Italia final against Roma: “When Roma overtook us, we told ourselves that we couldn’t slip up again,” said Cordoba. “Then when the game between Roma and Sampdoria finished, we told ourselves that no one could stop us and that’s how it went, all the work we put in and our desire to win pushed us to what we achieved. The Coppa Italia final was also a battle right ‘til the end.”

A battle which Chivu touched on too: “We knew that the Coppa Italia final wouldn’t be easy, Roma wanted to let us know how much they wanted it, but we wanted to win everything, we didn’t want to sacrifice that cup, Roma weren’t aware of that or of the fact that we’d been training every day with that tenacity, strength and competitive edge with which they wanted to beat us.”

Finally a word on that night in Madrid: “After spending more than ten years at Inter, it feels like a dream to have achieved something as incredible as we did,” recounted Cordoba. “There aren’t many teams in the world who have managed to win the Treble. Then our return to San Siro at dawn, with the stadium packed to the rafters. They’re moments that I’ll never forget.”

A game they prepared for throughout an entire season, and a dream also for Chivu: “We had been preparing for the Champions League final all season, at the break Mourinho told us that we were playing too well and that Bayern would take advantage of that in the second half, but we managed it perfectly, it was our dream. At first we were happy to have won a Champions League final, then a few minutes after the final whistle it actually clicked that we’d just won the Treble.”

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