Mourinho’s Treble Story: “A Dream Is More Pure Than an Obsession”

It was a late evening in the city of Manchester, shortly after Inter suffered a catastrophic 2-0 defeat to the Red Devils at the Old Trafford, where the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo caused the Nerazzurri’s Champions League aspirations to dissipate.

Despite establishing their dominance in Italy after winning three consecutive Scudetti, both coach José Mourinho and president Massimo Moratti knew that the continuous domestic success was far from enough and that they both had to aim towards claiming European silverware.

As a result, the two individuals held a meeting after the devastating defeat, which marked another year of failure within the Champions League since 1965. Although the loss clouded Inter fans with an abundance of despair and agony, Mourinho thought otherwise.

Rather, the defeat to the Red Devils ignited a flame of hope, causing him to undergo an epiphany of what exactly the squad needed in order to obtain European glory. As a result, the two masterminds spent the entire evening plotting out the squad ahead of next year’s 2009-2010 Serie A campaign.

Throughout the summer before the start of the season, the Biscione were extremely active on the transfer window as they managed to secure the signings of Genoa duo Diego Milito and Thiago Motta, the Bayern Munich defender Lucio, the North Macedonian international Goran Pandev, the well-documented forward from Barcelona Samuel Eto’o, and the Real Madrid outcast Wesley Sneijder.

After luring in a total of six brand new starters to the San Siro, the Special One was confident that Inter would achieve major success as the squad possessed a fine equilibrium of creativity and flare within the final third, along with a solid back-bone within the defense.

Throughout the first half of the season, Inter obtained a tremendous amount of success as Mourinho’s counter-attacking style of play was very difficult for the other teams within the Serie A to contain. As a result, the Nerazzurri managed to finish the first half of the season in first with a comfortable gap ahead of the other teams.

However, their start to the Champions League campaign was not as smooth sailing. Mourinho’s men were drawn into a “Group of Death” which included Rubin Kazan, the Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv, and the reigning Champions League winners Barcelona.

Despite being held to a 0-0 stalemate at the San Siro and suffering a 3-0 defeat at the Camp Nou across both legs against Barcelona, Mourinho’s side demonstrated resilience as they managed to finish second in the group with the help of the rising star Mario Balotelli’s free-kick against Rubin Kazan, along with Sneijder’s last-gasp strike in Kyiv to seal all three points.

The mid-season point was a difficult stage for Mourinho as his squad barely made it out of the group and suffered a shocking 3-0 defeat to Juventus in Turin. In addition, Mourinho was handed a three-game match suspension after making match-fixing accusations as his side received multiple red cards in consecutive games.

Despite the difficult patch Inter experienced, Mourinho managed to keep the team intact and his players focused on winning the treble. The Portuguese tactician’s mentality was arguably his strongest attribute as he managed to bore fruit from the Milanese soil and get the best out of each and every single one of his players. His charisma and passion towards the club was what made him all the players and fans view him as a father figure. During the latter stages, the Special One’s master-plan began to unravel in spectacular fashion as his squad underwent a magnificent run of form.

Throughout the second half of the season, Mourinho’s side managed to seize revenge against Juventus in a 2-0 victory at the San Siro, where the Special One ran across the side-lines and jumped into the air with euphoria.

In addition, the Nerazzurri demonstrated their dominance as they out-classed their cross-city rivals 2-0 in the Derby di Milano. Before the final whistle blew, Mourihno called upon the all the Inter fans to show their support and celebrate, letting the supporters of La Benemata know that the treble was still well within their grasp.

Against all the odds, Mourihno’s side obtained a spot within the final four of the Champions League after eliminating both Chelsea and CSKA Moscow, where they were set to face-off against Barcelona yet again.

Despite Guardiola’s side possessing the better team on paper, Mourinho had no doubts that Inter were going to go through to the finals. He believed that his squad wanted it more since his players were towards the end of their careers, making this season their only chance to ever reach the finals. As a result, the Special One stated in the press-conference ahead of the fixture that “a dream is more pure than an obsession.

As a result, Mourinho’s bold statement in media was proven to be correct as Inter managed to complete a 3-1 comeback victory at the San Siro and contained Barcelona to 1-0 loss despite being a man down at the Camp Nou in order to reach the finals in Madrid. At that moment, Mourinho ran across the San Siro and was filled with pride as he managed to pull the impossible and outplay his rival Guardiola in his home ground.

Inter clinched both the league title and the Coppa Italia as Diego Milito scored the game winners in both matches to help the Nerazzurri capture the domestic double. However, the job was far from over as they had to get past Bayern Munich in order to complete the treble.

Mourinho knew that defeating Bayern Munich was going to be extremely difficult as the Portuguese tactician worked under Louis Van Gaal at Barcelona as his assistant within the early stages of his managerial career. However, Mourinho always thrived in uncomfortable positions and rose to the occasion.

In the end, the Special One managed to crack the code of the puzzle as he stunned Bayern Munich in a 2-0 victory as a result of Milito’s marvelous brace at the Santiago Bernabeu. The student outclassed the master as Mourinho managed to end their 45-year drought without a Champions League trophy in the best run we have ever witnessed within Calcio, as Inter are still the only Italian team to have ever won the treble.