Jose Mourinho’s reaction at the final whistle after Internazionale conquered the reigning champions of Europe and ended a 38 year exodus from a European Cup final said it all.
It was as if a cloud had been lifted from the club who have suffered some rotten luck in the competition for nearly four decades. Mourinho himself who has experienced the thrill of reaching the last two of Europe’s premier tournament believed that his career has now reached new heights.
“This is the most beautiful moment of my career. The best of all.”
“Inter haven’t played a Champions League final for 38 years, this is something that we were all waiting for. This isn’t a squad of children who can wait 15 years to play a final.”
It seemed again that Inter were to suffer at least another year of heart ache after Thiago Motta was controversially sent off after tangling with Sergio Busquets. The Brazilian anchor man was given his marching orders with ¾’s of the game left to play, but Inter are no strangers to this situation before after successfully keeping a clean sheet against Sampdoria earlier in the domestic season with just nine men.
Mourinho sarcastically applauded the intense Catalonian crowd following the decision and even spoke to his adversary Pep Guardiola on the side line. The Portuguese tactician however couldn’t laud more praise onto his players after the game, describing them as heroes.
“I am really happy, playing with 10 men for more than an hour in this stadium against a great side means that my squad are real heroes. I’m not thinking about other people’s problems, about their frustrations, I am thinking positively.”
Trailing 3-1 on aggregate Barcelona needed a two goal victory to book their place in the Madrid show piece next month. Inter’s grit and determination frustrated Barca by digging deep and resorting the Spaniards to taking long range shots, which was very uncharacteristic of the FIFA Club World Champions. Despite a late goal from Gerard Pique the Italians held on and Mourinho couldn’t conceal his delight, sprinting over to the 5,000 Inter fans pointing to the heavens.
The Italian champions will now play Bayern Munich on the 15th May where Mourinho will come head to head with one of his mentors who ironically managed Barcelona at the time, Louis Van Gaal.[sl_gallery]