MILAN – When Zanetti and Milito come face to face, something special is always on the horizon. And this especially applies when that day is today, the tenth anniversary of Inter’s Treble success, which we’ve been looking back on through our #Timeless2010 campaign powered by Pirelli.
In a live event on the Club’s official Instagram account, the historic Triplete captain and El Principe spoke about the incredible journey which culminated in Inter’s Champions League triumph in Madrid thanks to a Milito brace: “It was a dream for me to sign for a Club like Inter, I joined a family. This is what Inter is for me and I’m proud to have been a part of it. Today is a special day for all of us. The group was extraordinary and remains so ten years on, we still keep in touch today. I still remember everything perfectly, it’s as if it all happened yesterday. Given how difficult and important this feat was, what we achieved will remain etched in history.”
Zanetti fondly recalled the closing stages at the Bernabeu, when the dream was about to come true: “When you went off and received all that applause that night, and when Julio Cesar made the ball his own, tears came to my eyes. I looked at Walter Samuel, who said “Come on, we’ve still got three minutes to play”, but I already felt incredibly emotional due to what we’d achieved. All the different components – the team, the Club and the fans – were on the same page, allowing us to achieve this feat. We were a tight-knit group off the pitch too. All of our games are being shown today and I still feel the emotions I felt in Madrid.”
Among the two hardest tests were the semi-final fixtures against Barcelona. They were extra special for Milito given that he was up against his brother Gabriel: “After overcoming Barcelona, we knew that we needed to make that trophy our own. I remember the first leg, my brother was on the bench and my father celebrated when I scored our third. He apologised to him afterwards. I also remember how we celebrated after the game between Roma and Sampdoria, we weren’t even playing in it but it was one of the hardest games to get through. We were all despondent travelling back on the train following our draw in Florence, but you really encouraged everyone and were always positive. Losing was no longer an option, and we never looked back.”
Zanetti also looked back at the closing stages of that campaign: “In the final month, all of our matches were essentially knockout fixtures. There was a huge amount of pressure. Today is a day which belongs to all our fans, who were always there for us. I remember when I was shown what was going on at the Duomo while we were still in Madrid, I wanted to depart immediately and embrace our fans one by one.”
And then there was the strength of an extraordinary group: “I knew I was joining a group of great champions and that all of you had a dream that was to be achieved together, as captured by the choreography at the Bernabeu,” said Milito. “The fans deserved these triumphs, they always pushed us on. It wasn’t easy, we will always remember the game in Kiev. Mourinho’s mentality was also vital. After the final, I was happy for all our supporters and for Massimo Moratti because they all deserved to experience this joy.”
Before the chat came to an end, Javier Zanetti spoke about Gigi Simoni on the day of his passing: “Before signing off, I want to take a moment to remember Gigi Simoni, who was someone I played under, and send my heartfelt condolences to his family.”