Inter Calling with Javier Zanetti and Ivan Zamorano


An episode that remembers Gigi Simoni and that magical night in Paris on 6 May 1998

MILAN – Their names are not only engraved in Nerazzurri history, but also on the scoresheet of that unforgettable final on 6 May 1998, in which Inter won their third UEFA Cup on a magical night in Paris. Javier Zanetti and Ivan Zamorano are the guests in today’s episode of Inter Calling, which started by remembering Gigi Simoni:

The coach was always there for that group,” Zanetti recalled, “I saw him as a father, because he always gave the right advice when he spoke to you. That group had great togetherness; we were like a family. When I talk about the UEFA Cup, I think about that final in Paris: not only due to the victory, but also because the coach did so much for all of us to win that trophy. I think all of us will remember his character, his sincerity, for he was a gentleman and a man with a great heart.”

Then Zamorano shared his memory:

“He built a family, that Inter squad in ‘97/98 made a dream come true by winning that incredible UEFA Cup. He wasn’t just a great coach, but also a great man and it wasn’t easy to do that with a team containing so many champions, but we all fought together to achieve our aims. We have a wonderful memory of him; he did everything he could to build that family. Personally, Simoni made me play well in the most important matches of that UEFA Cup and it was so rewarding for me to have a coach like him, because he always encouraged me.”

That evening at the Parc des Princes and those three goals in the all-Italian final against Lazio were unforgettable, as Zanetti said:

“After Ivan’s header down there was a chance for me to strike the ball and it was the goal that gave us some peace of mind, because that Lazio side were very good, and it wasn’t an easy match. But we were so hungry to succeed, we wanted to win at all costs and bring the UEFA Cup back to Milan, and we managed it! We lined up with a very attacking team in the final and behind them there were several warriors, it was clear that the coach wanted to make his mark on that match.”

Zamorano opened the scoring in that game and Ronaldo’s incredible goal sealed the win:

“Only Ronaldo could score a goal like that, with that trademark move. He could do so many incredible things, for me he’s the best no.9 the world has seen, and that goal represents everything he’s about: speed and magic. Ronaldo was a Phenomenon and I’m a workhorse, so we complemented each other well because in every great team you need a player who has the skills and one who works for the team. That’s how I played my football and the fans still remember me as a warrior. Of course I had some ability, especially with my head, but I like to be remembered as someone who always gave his all on the pitch, who fought tirelessly for every ball.”

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