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A quick football round-up

05/30/10

Permalink 11:20:59 am, by amilnal
Categories: Sports, Commentary

A quick football round-up

Well the club season has finally come to an end after another amazing 10-month journey. It all ended, as we knew it would with either Inter Milan or Bayern Munich winning a treble, and as it turned out it was Jose Mourinho's treble. He led Inter to a Serie A title, a Coppa Italia championship, and closed their season with a 2-0 victory in the Champions League Final in Madrid and did so convincingly.

Lots to mention about what happened and some milestones reached.

Inter won their third European Cup/Champions League having won it previously in 1964 and 1965. They are also the first team in Italy to ever win The Treble.

Jose Mourinho becomes the youngest manager to win the European Cup/Champions League with two different clubs (Porto in 2004 was the other and Omar Hitzfeld with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich and Ernst Happel did it with Feyernord and Hamburger SV.) Mourinho is making no bones or secrets that he wants to do it with three different clubs and he has without doubt coached Inter Milan for the last time. He will sign a 4 year deal worth £40 million with Real Madrid this week and it truly boggles the mind what he will be able to do with players like Ronaldo, Kaka, Higuain, Karim Benzema et al. Will he raid Inter Milan and bring back Wesley Sneijder, Maicon has already making noises that he wants to go with Mourinho to Real Madrid. Or might he go and pick up someone like Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard, which is also being rumored.

The thing about Jose Mourinho and why he is the best coach in the world is really simple. Yes he is a great tactician and man manager but it is the belief that he instills in his teams. Porto come from nowhere and won everything, he fell just short in Europe with Chelsea but led them to two Premier League titles (their first in 50 years) as well as FA Cups and Carling Cups. And now with Inter he has taken them to the next level. He inspires, he makes players believe and he will quite easily become the greatest manager of all time by the time he is done.

People say that he is only good with a checkbook and that he does not build sides and teams. I would say differently and I think that what he does stays with a team and those players long after he is gone. Frank Lampard is the greatest example of that in my opinion.

One last thing on Mourinho and what he has done in Italy while at Inter Milan. By winning the Champions League he and Inter saved Italy from losing there fourth Champions League spot. So while the media apparently will be happy to see the back of him, he really has left his mark and as he put it "his work is done in Italy."

Add to that the signing by Barcelona of David Villa from Valencia this week and proposed signing of Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal and I think it is becoming pretty clear that Spain is fast becoming the go to league in world football. Spain is going to be the league to be watching next season, of that there is no question.

Samuel Eto'o has won the treble two years in a row. Obviously last year with Barcelona and this year with Inter Milan...pretty certain that has never been done.

Javier Zanetti played his 700th game for Inter Milan in Madrid on Saturday. Not a bad way to ring up number 700 by picking up the Champions League trophy.

I do not see how the Balon D'Or and World Footballer of the Year go to anyone but Diego Milito. He scored all the big goals. The goal to win Coppa Italia vs. Roma! He scored the goal last weekend at Siena that secured the title, and his brace in Madrid to win the cup with the big ears. Not sure what else he could do. He is a striker and he scores really big goals and it is only amazing to think that Maradona was going to leave him out of the Argentina squad preferring Boca Juniors Martin Palermo. In the end he is taking both and rightfully so.

The broadcast on Fox was pretty good as well. Curt Menefee looked pretty good and even sounded as if he had a passing knowledge for the game. Not sure about Bruce Arena or Eric Wynalda. Not sure what they really brought to the proceedings except to verify that they truly do not care for each other and of course Martin Tyler and Andy Gray were terrific. Nobody gets hurt when they do a game together.

All told it was a good day and especially for the serious football fan who got to see a game of such magnitude in HD and on network television...a serious first for America.

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