Ibrahimovic inadvertently handed Inter the Treble
Zlatan Ibrahimovic told former Inter president Massimo Moratti in 2009, after agreeing to sign with Barcelona, that they would not win anything without him. Moratti, speaking with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera said:” He was about to get onto the plane that was taking him from the USA, where we were training, to Spain and said that he had had a nice time playing for us, but that we would not win anything without him. He is an incredibly talented player and he really does help a team win titles. We won three straight league championships and the other day, when I was watching our game against Parma in May 2008, I saw just how incredible he was.”
One can’t argue with Moratti on the pure footballing talent of the Swedish striker, but of the fact that he values his own importance a little too much a great deal can be said.
Let’s have a look at what happened at Inter Milan right after Ibra left:
The first match of the season saw them achieve an unimpressive 1-1 draw with Bari (Inter’s goal was scored by Samuel Eto’o who had joined from Barca in the deal to sign Ibrahimovic), but less than six days laterin the Milan derby they ran riot and destroyed the Rossoneri 4-0 and never looked back from then. The SerieA season saw them lose only 4 matches, against Sampdoria, Juve, Catania and Roma, and win the Coppa Italia final in Rome against Roma 1-0. They went on to win the Champions League in the same season after the group phase defeating in succession, Chelsea, CSKA Moscow, Ibrahimovic’s very own Barcelona in the semi-final and Bayern Munich in the final.
That same season Ibrahimovic managed a total of 21 goals and 10 assists in the 2009/10 Season. Barcelona went on to win the Spanish League, the UEFA and Spanish Supercup and the Intercontinental cup, not bad, unless you compare that to the previous season, the one with Eto’o instead of the Swedish striker, where they managed a Liga, Copa Del Rey and Champions League.
According to Ibrahimovic, Inter would not have managed to win anything after he left the club, but they ended up winning the treble. They are the only Italian side to have achieved this, and to-date, only six other clubs have ever managed to do the same: Celtic, Ajax, PSV, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The really curious thing is that only one player has ever managed to win the treble with two different clubs, Samuel Eto’o, who left Barcelona for Inter in the same manoeuvre that saw the Swedish striker go in the other direction. One can easily say, that if anyone had the right to make such an absurd declaration to their previous owner, it would have been Eto’o, and not Ibrahimovic.