Author: John Mawuli Atidigah
Inter are Italian Champions. Eleven years after the last time, the Nerazzurri became champions with four days before the end of the championship. Yesterday’s success against Crotone and Atalanta’s simultaneous non-victory today allowed Antonio Conte’s men to celebrate well in advance of the end of the season. Inter have won the nineteenth title in their history with an absolutely dominated second half of the season.
Life and history totally distant from Inter. Yet, on May 31, 2019, everything changed. Antonio Conte becomes the coach of Inter, goes to the helm of historical rivals, takes honors and above all burdens to bring the Nerazzurri back to win.
On 31 May 2019, the Nerazzurri fans are divided. One half sees in Conte the decisive step to return to winning trophies. Spalletti has brought the team back up, but now we need the mentality of the winner. The other half sees him as the Juventus captain, the man who enjoyed the Scudetto won against Inter on May 5, the new Lippi who will not confirm his Bianconeri victories in the Nerazzurri. Antonio Conte had courage and the club staked everything on him. A three-year period worth 12 million per season, the investiture of the leader, of the one who would have been, in all respects, the extra man.
Antonio Conte does not accept half measures and on the other hand his personality pushes people to love him or hate him. His life has always been tinged with the Juventus of Turin since that November 1991 when he arrived at Juventus from Lecce. From there 13 seasons as a player, many trophies, the Champions League, the captain’s armband, on 5 May. As if that weren’t enough, Antonio Conte started Juventus’ new winning cycle in 2011 as a coach.
Conte brought back the Mourinho atmosphere of the best times to Inter. Winning mentality, it is forbidden to settle, the group above all, head held high against enemies, real or presumed. The Salento coach has found a squad with very few experienced players in victories and many used to not fighting for something important. The first fundamental step was on the market: everything passes through Lukaku. In retrospect it can be said that that blow was decisive. The Belgian was not only a goalscorer and an assist man, he was the leader of the locker room, the “gentle giant” who puts the team ahead of himself. A noticeable change of line compared to before. From a tactical point of view it was fundamental. Pivot in the restart, fulcrum of the sorting of the balls, decisive in ball control and in keeping the team high.
The 3-5-2 has gradually established itself in the team’s DNA with the addition of pieces modeled by the same Count. Men’s stretcher in the image and likeness of the coach. Determination, race, character, desire to win. Also aggressive last year, this year much more mature also in the interventions. Then Bastoni, the young man who takes the place of Godin and becomes fundamental in the approach from below. Lautaro Martinez, another player who has grown a lot mentally and, consequently, also technically.
Antonio Conte designed the course, modeled it, made a mistake and found the solutions. The collapses in the Champions League, the attacking midfielder who did not work, the need to all believe in the project and the meeting at Villa Bellini. Finally, meeting with Eriksen and Perisic with the awareness of having made a mistake and that the good of Inter was more important than everything. Conte won again, he started and ended the reign of Juventus and confirmed that he was a winner first in the head than in the palmares which is a direct consequence. He will not show football, he will have to improve in Europe, he will have to create more alternatives. Sure, but Antonio Conte was authentic and maybe that’s why the team followed him and maybe that’s why Inter won the Scudetto after 11 years.