MILAN – Ten years ago, history was written. And certain emotions, memories and touching moments are not forgotten; they’re imprinted in our memory forever. Let’s remember everything from 22 May 2010: where we were watching from, who we were with, how we celebrated Milito’s goals. Here we go through the ten most significant moments, with photos and videos, from that night at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Bayern Munich 0-2 Inter.
1. “Let’s crown the dream” – The Nerazzurri fans’ tifo
The difference between a dream and obsession was clearly explained by José Mourinho before the semi-final against Barcelona. Inter’s most recent (their second) Champions League title had come in 1965, then they lost two finals against Celtic (1976) and Ajax (1972). Bayern Munich arrived at that final in Madrid with four Champions Cup/Champions League titles in their trophy cabinet. The Nerazzurri fans’ reception for that Inter team at the Bernabeu was extraordinary: Inter’s badge, the Champions League ball and the unforgettable phrase “…and now, together, let’s crown the dream!”
2. Zanetti’s 700th Inter appearance
A grand total of 858 matches and 21 goals for Javier Zanetti in the Nerazzurri shirt, the 700th of which came on that night in Madrid. As he explained in the memorabilia challenge, Zanetti took to the pitch wearing the UEFA captain’s armband, as per the regulations. But at the end of the match, for the awards ceremony, he replaced it with one of his own personalised bands: a yellow one with Inter’s three Champions League trophies embroidered on it and the writing ‘700 times Javier Zanetti’.
3. Inter’s line-up in the Champions League Final
Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; J. Zanetti, Cambiasso; Pandev, Sneijder, Eto'o; Milito. We all know the line-up chosen by José Mourinho to face Bayern Munich off by heart. With Thiago Motta suspended, Zanetti took his place at Cambiasso’s side and Chivu came into the left of defence to contain Robben. Mourinho made three changes during the match: first Stankovic for Chivu in the 68th minute (with the score at 1-0), with the Serb coming on in midfield and Zanetti moving to left-back; then in the 79th minute Muntari came on for Pandev to strengthen the midfield; and finally Milito got a standing ovation when he came off for Materazzi in the 92nd minute. Bayern Munich’s coach, Louis Van Gaal, was without Franck Ribery for the final due to a three-game suspension after a red card in the semi-final first leg against Lyon. Robben, Olic, Altintop and Müller were their attacking force, with Klose and Mario Gomez coming on in the 63rd and 74th minutes respectively.
4. Diego Milito’s 35th-minute goal to make it 1-0
A long punt upfield by Julio Cesar, Milito’s flick on, Sneijder’s return pass, the fake shot and right-footed shot under the crossbar: Inter were ahead at the Bernabeu thanks to El Principe Milito’s masterpiece.
5. Julio Cesar’s saves
One of Inter’s biggest scares came in the first minute of the second half: Olic’s backheel played in Atintop, who laid it off for Müller to shoot. The German’s shot was low and hard, but Julio Cesar reacted well with his feet. Then, in the 65th minute, the Brazilian ‘keeper produced another world-class save to deny Robben’s typical left-footed curler. Two crucial interventions to protect the Nerazzurri’s goal by ‘The Dreamcatcher’.
6. Cambiasso’s clearance
It wasn’t just Julio Cesar who was producing miracles to deny Bayern, Esteban Cambiasso also defended the Nerazzurri’s goal with a headed clearance from Müller’s shot in the 63rd minute with the score still 1-0.
7. The Nerazzurri’s crowning moment: Milito’s goal to make it 2-0
With the game still open, Bayern were on the attack and the teams were tiring. In the 70th minute, Sneijder fought ferociously to secure the ball in the middle of the park before passing to Eto’o, who quickly played one to Milito. Pandev was out on his feet, Milito led the attack on his own. Van Buyten jockeyed him up to the edge of the box and that was when the Argentine decided to turn on the style: he cut in, faked to shoot, skipped past the defender and nonchalantly slotted it past Butt. 2-0. Milito ran towards the elated Nerazzurri fans in celebration.
8. The final whistle: Inter back on Europe’s throne after 45 years
The three minutes of added time signalled by referee Webb served as a very sweet countdown. Julio Cesar took his time over the goal kick whilst all those on the bench were hugging, on their feet in anticipation. Then, the whistle blew, endless joy ensued and the party began. Inter were Champions of Europe.
9. Cambiasso wearing the no.3 shirt
On that magical night, the tribute to Giacinto Facchetti couldn’t be missed. Esteban Cambiasso, who was very close to ‘Cipe’, celebrated on the pitch at the Bernabeu by lifting the Champions League trophy while wearing Giacinto’s no.3 shirt. Goosebumps.
10. From Madrid to Milan, the Nerazzurri party
The images of that night flow to create the best movie ever. The lifting of the trophy, the group photos, everyone’s embraces, especially the one between Mourinho and Moratti. And while those gathered in Milan at the Piazza del Duomo were moving to San Siro to await the team’s return, the celebrations and interviews were already well underway on the pitch at the Bernabeu. Then the team departed for the airport and went back to the Meazza for a Nerazzurri sunrise. Below is the story of the post-game celebrations and the party from Madrid to Milan.