MILAN – Sunday’s match between Inter and Sampdoria will be the 126th match between the two teams in Serie A and, overall, the 139th clash between the two teams: the Nerazzurri and Blucerchiati have also faced off 12 times in the Coppa Italia and once in the Italian Super Cup, in 1989.
That was in just the second edition of the Super Cup and, on a cold November evening, the reigning Italian champions, Trapattoni’s Inter, faced the Coppa Italia holders, Boskov’s Sampdoria. It was 29 November 1989 and you wouldn’t say that San Siro was packed. However, there was a trophy up for grabs that, albeit newborn, was gaining in value and significance. On that Wednesday, with mist enveloping San Siro, the man who lit up the evening was Enrico Cucchi.
Lotha Matthäus was injured, so for that part of the season it was the 24-year-old who donned the Nerazzurri no.10 shirt, which carried so much significance. Cucchi, born in 1965, was bought by Inter in 1982 and made his first team debut in January 1985. He had skill and great vision and he may have lacked speed but knew how to create with guile, all this crowned by his intense looks. He was quality, proved by loan spells at Empoli (eight goals) and Fiorentina (four goals) before returning to Inter for the 1989/1990 season. His night of Nerazzurri glory came four years prior to that when he starred in a 2-0 win over Real Madrid at San Siro.
However, in that Inter vs. Sampdoria match, when a trophy was up for grabs, he played with the no.10 shirt on his back and had the task of supplying Aldo Serena and Morello. In fact, the first spark of the night came courtesy of Cucchi himself: a magnificent, unexpected backheel to free Bergomi who was denied in a 1-on-1 by Pagliuca. The deadlock was then broken in the 37th minute, again thanks to Cucchi, who played a sublime one-two with Serena on the edge of the box before firing it home with precision.
That Inter vs. Sampdoria match was full of excitement: the Blucerchiati reacted by hitting the crossbar as well as forcing Zenga into several saves, Vialli and Mancini continued to threaten, but Inter managed to double their lead late on as Brehme freed Morello who set up Serena to make it 2-0.
Two goals and a clean sheet that delivered Inter their first Italian Super Cup in the Club’s history (now they have five). Beppe Baresi lifted the trophy alongside President Pellegrini and the team celebrated on the pitch at San Siro. It was a night that Enrico Cucchi lit up, and all the Inter fans still remember him with so much fondness as well as melancholy after that illness took him away from us at such a young age in 1996.
INTER 2- 0 SAMPDORIA - ITALIAN SUPER CUP 1989
INTER: Zenga, Bergomi, Baresi, Verdelli, Brehme, Bianchi, Matteoli, Berti, Cucchi, Morello, Serena.
SAMPDORIA: Pagliuca, Vierchowod, Mannini, Invernizzi, Dossena, Katanec (Munoz), Lombardo (Carboni), Cerezo, Pari, Vialli, Mancini.
Goal scorers: 37' Cucchi, 86' Serena.