Inter Milan Claims Scudetto as Serie A Season Comes to an End
Internazionale claimed their fifth consecutive Serie A crown and their 18th overall Scudetto after Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Siena.
The Campione d’Italia had yet another terrific season of football in Italia, behind the managing of the controversial Jose Mourinho. They managed to finish atop the table with 82 points (24 wins, 10 draws, four defeats), needing a second-half Diego Milito strike in the last weekend of the campaign to top Siena and hold off Roma, who finished just two points behind.
In the end, Inter deserved the Serie A crown, as their squad deserves credit for a phenomenal season.
Diego Milito was Inter’s top scorer on the season (22 goals) and repeatedly came through for his side with numerous clutch goals, like his final tally of the season this past Sunday.
Samuel Eto’o was second on the team in goals with nine, but his extra hustle and contributions in the midfield and linking up to Milito made the difference this season. Mario Balotelli also was known to provide a spark to the attack throughout the season, whether it was as a substitute or a spot starter.
Wesley Sneijder proved to be arguably the best player of the season with his tremendous playmaking ability in the attack. This last summer transfer was a big part of the creation of the majority of Inter’s attack and was constantly a thorn in his opposition’s side.
Esteban Cambiasso continued to be a rock-solid consistent force in the defensive midfield. The Argentine played a critical role in helping Inter give up the least amount of goals in Serie A (34). Unfortunately for him, though, he was denied a place on his native Argentina side for this summer’s World Cup.
Maicon lived up to his standard of play this season with another solid year under his belt. The Brazilian wing defender continued to be a factor in attack contributing six goals (fourth most on the squad) and constantly providing crosses from the right.
The captain, Javier Zanetti, continued to show off his versatility, relentlessness, and stamina as he put together yet another tremendous season for the Nerazzurri. This composed leader just continues to please the Inter supporters, but he was unfortunately robbed of international selection for this summer too.
The defensive duo of Lucio and Walter Samuel displayed a fierce physical combination in shutting down opposing attacks. They elevated their games and provided great protection of their superb goalkeeper, Julio Cesar.
The Nerazzurri have now completed the domestic part of their treble run by winning Coppa Italia and the Scudetto and now look ahead to the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday against German side Bayern Munich.
Looking ahead to next season, the rumor mill has already begun churning for Inter. Mourinho has been rumored to be on his way out, with Real Madrid being his next likely landing spot.
Roma completed a very successful season, battling till the final match for Serie A glory but falling just short of the Scudetto after a late-season defeat to a visiting Sampdoria squad proved costly. But the Giallorossi must be commended for their fight and highly impressive unbeaten run to make this Scudetto chase go down to the wire.
The third- and fourth-place finishers, AC Milan and Sampdoria, will also take part in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
AC Milan was in contention for the Scudetto for the a bulk of the season, but after a stretch of seven matches where the Rossoneri were only able to fight to one victory from mid-March to the end of April, Milan’s hopes were destroyed.
Sampdoria put together a very successful season behind the effective attacking of Giampaolo Pazzini and Antonio Cassano. Their 67-point total was just enough to hold off Palermo for the final Champions League spot.
The fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-place finishers—Palermo, Napoli, and Juventus—will participate in the UEFA Europa League.
Palermo just fell short on a Champions League birth, but this Sicilian side has nothing to be ashamed of after a season full of success—especially at home, where Palermo went undefeated with 13 wins and six draws. Fabrizio Miccoli helped spark the Palermo attack to a total of 59 league goals the fourth most in Serie A.
Napoli finished with 15 wins, 14 draws, and nine defeats on way to a 59-point season and a sixth-place finish.
Juventus can easily be labeled the most disappointing club in Serie A this season. Their seventh-place finish was a complete failure to the high Juve standard and an absolute disappointment to the high expectations that were in place. The Bianconeri will look to rebound next season and regroup in the transfer window by naming a new manager and regrouping the squad.
Parma and Bari enjoyed solidly successful seasons after being promoted from Serie B. Both clubs finished in the top half of the table. Parma claimed an eighth-place finish with 52 points, while Bari finished 10th with 50 points.
Fiorentina will also be very disappointed with their finish. Their 11th-place final standing in the table was much lower than expected despite an impressive UEFA Champions League display.
Now the Viola must survive a transfer window that threatens to cost them many key components due to the absence from UEFA competition next season. Will Prandelli accept the invitation to manage Italia? Will Gilardino, Montolivo, Vargas, Jovetic, and Frey transfer out?
Atalanta, Siena, and Livorno were relegated to Serie B after finishing at the bottom of the table.
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