Sunday, September 26

A party no longer lasts anything in the calcium | sports


The Inter Milan players celebrate the 'scudetto' achieved this season.
The Inter Milan players celebrate the ‘scudetto’ achieved this season.Nicola Marfisi / AP

We knew that the party ended when the queue formed at the wardrobe and the floor was already so sticky that it was difficult to take each step. The end could be smelled on the bodies and on the people waiting at the bathroom door. The strange thing was, during these months of the pandemic, that that aroma of nocturnal decadence arrived artificially with the first drink in one hand and the mobile phone to call the taxi, in the other. A phenomenon that greatly resembles the drama experienced last week by Inter Milan. The club that has won the coveted scudetto after 11 years he has had to fire his coach and start selling his stars when he hadn’t even started celebrating the title. As if the curfew also applied to the happiness of the stands. An accelerated crisis, like everything in the last year and a half of life, which has generated a domino effect in calcium in which seven coaches have already fallen.

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Nobody remembers a team in Italy that had to be dismantled just after winning a long-awaited title. Inter had a bench, players and hunger. But he has been forced to give the letter of freedom to Antonio Conte, his coach (and pay him seven million) in addition to putting a price on his stars. Former Madrid player Achraf Hakimi goes to PSG for 60 million and Lautaro and Lukaku, two beasts that the coach from Salencia has squeezed the most this year, are in the window in case someone dares to put what they ask for on the table.

The novelty is that, this time, the accounts are not even winning. The president of the club, the Chinese Steven Zhang, owner of the Suning group, has to face the expiration of the leoninos loans granted by an Asian fund to refloat the entity. There are about 100 million missing and it is urgent to make cash. Otherwise Inter will go to other hands. The forced revolution in the Lombard club (resizing, the property calls it) has aroused the anger of the fans and caused a butterfly effect on the calcium benches that has also been felt in Spain (Conte could end up at Real Madrid).

A year ago, six of the top seven teams in Serie A confirmed their coach. They all had a solid project and wanted to expand it. He only decided to change Juventus who, in the absence of a dream like Guardiola, was convinced to give command to a guy from the house like Andrea Pirlo. But the invention has been short-lived. And a year later, five of those same teams have had to change the tenant of the bench: Lazio, Inter, Roma, Naples and Juventus (in addition to Fiorentina and Sassuolo). At this stage of the year, people usually talk about players. But in Italy, without a euro in the coffers to sign, the total role of the market is the benches.

The changes alter the board again, and teams will return to playing with new cards next season. Next year, as the journalist Mario Sconcerti pointed out in The Corriere della Sera, there will be no favorite team for the first time in 30 years. Juve will return to Allegri’s notebook so that everything goes back to the way it was before. Inter steals Simone Inzaghi from Lazio – its president, Claudio Lotito made a fool of himself by assuring that he would continue – who tried unsuccessfully to sign Gennaro Gattuso before he ended up at Fiorentina. Napoli will sign Luciano Spalletti and Roma, everyone knows that by now, Mourinho has been entrusted just 20 years after achieving the last scudetto. Only Milan, who will return to the Champions League this year, will have the same tenant on the bench [Stefano Pioli] next year. Perhaps the only one who, without having won anything this year, who has something to celebrate.

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