Football: Inter champion of Italy for the twentieth time

The Inter players were obviously not going to miss this double pleasure: after having flown through the Serie A season, the Milanese team won, Monday April 22 evening, the twentieth title of Italian champion of the history of the club by offering itself, the ultimate joy, a victory (2-1) over the rival, AC Milan

Football: Inter champion of Italy for the twentieth time

The Inter players were obviously not going to miss this double pleasure: after having flown through the Serie A season, the Milanese team won, Monday April 22 evening, the twentieth title of Italian champion of the history of the club by offering itself, the ultimate joy, a victory (2-1) over the rival, AC Milan.

To the delight of their excited fans, the Nerazzurri (black and blue) won the Milanese derby at San Siro - the stadium that the two clubs share, AC Milan officially being the host on Monday evening - thanks to goals from Francesco Acerbi (18th) and French striker Marcus Thuram (49th). The reduction of the gap by Fikayo Tomori (80th) and a tense end to the match marked by three expulsions gave some shudders to the interior players, who finally held on to win this new “Scudetto”. Five days before the end of the season, Inter have an unrecoverable lead of 17 points over their evening opponent, who conceded their sixth defeat in a row in a derby, in all competitions.

The team coached by Simone Inzaghi leaves its mark on the history of Calcio, Italian football: before it, only Juventus had reached, in 1982, the figure of twenty national titles which gives the right to embroider two golden stars on its jerseys . If Juve is far at the top of the historic Serie A list with an astronomical total of 36 titles – and three stars therefore – Inter has regained the ascendancy over AC Milan who had returned to their height in 2022 with his 19th title.

“We have made Serie A history,” said Argentinian striker Lautaro Martinez, very moved. Winning a title in a derby has never happened. That's what I told my teammates before this match, we really had to seize this opportunity. »

An impressive record

Inter's coronation was no longer in doubt for several weeks now, as the Nerazzurri dominate their subject and their rivals have multiplied their missteps. The outgoing champion Naples quickly out of the equation, Inter spent almost the entire season in the lead, leaving only crumbs to AC Milan (leader after only the 8th day) and Juventus, briefly in the lead after the 21st day.

While Inter had a string of victories (including a series of ten in a row between January and March), AC Milan compromised their chances in the fall, while Juve lost their footing during the first quarter of 2024 by pocketing seven small points in nine matches.

For his part, Inzaghi has put in place a formidable winning machine: his team has only conceded one defeat in the league, against the modest Sassuolo team (2-1) at San Siro, on September 27. His record is impressive: 27 wins in 33 matches with by far the best attack (79 goals scored) and defense (18 conceded) in Serie A.

He owes a lot to Lautaro Martinez, promoted this season to captain and top scorer in the championship (23 goals), but also to a newcomer with a surname already well known in Serie A, Marcus Thuram. Arriving last summer from Mönchengladbach, the French international had no problem adapting, as his twelve goals and seven assists in the league prove.

“It was a crazy match to experience something crazy,” declared Lilian’s son, present in the stands for the occasion and who played for Parma (1996-2001) and Juventus (2001-2006) during his prestigious playing career.

Inter also had a hollow nose by betting on Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer (19 matches without conceding a goal in the league) and on Frenchman Benjamin Pavard to strengthen their defense. With Hakan Calhanoglu and Henrix Mkhitaryan at the helm in midfield, Inter can still break some records by the end of the season.

Disappointment in the Champions League

Her fantastic 2023-24 season will, however, remain marred by her elimination by Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 of the Champions League, of which she played in the final in 2023.

The future still looks bright on the pitch: Inzaghi and Martinez will extend, and the arrivals of Mehdi Taremi (Porto) and Piotr Zielinski (Naples) have already been finalized. Behind the scenes, it is much more vague: Inter, forced to sell to recruit, reduced their losses in 2022-23, but they still amounted to 85 million euros.

Its owner since 2016, the Chinese group Suning of businessman Steven Zhang, is increasing its borrowing to try to keep its head above water: it has just reached an agreement with an American fund to repay a loan of 375 million euros contracted with the Oaktree fund.