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The Inter Milan team of 2009-10 excelled, to a significant extent, because of the number of star players in their prime. Fast forward one season however, and those same players look to be out of their prime and at the back end of their careers.
In Inter's 2009-10 defense, Lucio and Walter Samuel formed one of the fiercest center back partnerships in recent history for Inter Milan, and looked practically impenetrable all season long, even against Barcelona.
Now however, both defenders are 33 years old, and seem to have lost the edge that made them world class defenders. Though Lucio hasn't completely lost it yet, and still plays regularly for Brazil, he has been unable to click with Andrea Ranocchia, who will be Inter's first choice center-back going forward as Inter attempt to decrease the age of their starting lineup.
In Walter Samuel's case, the defender has returned to his injury-prone ways, playing only 10 Serie A games last season after missing most of the season with a severe knee injury.
Then comes Maicon, who has suffered a harsh fall from grace since the 2009-10 season.
Heralded as the best right-back in the world following his performances for Inter in 2009-10, the Brazilian defender has seen his stock plummet after being turned inside out by Gareth Bale in Tottenham's group stage matches with Inter Milan. Despite some impressive performances with Brazil at the Copa America, Inter Milan have reportedly put Maicon on the trading block, and are (reportedly) working on a deal to send him to Manchester City, with Carlos Tevez coming the other way.
Finally, the player who has without a doubt struggled the most since Inter's 2009-10 season has to be Diego Milito.
The Argentinian forward was arguably the best forward in the world in 2009-10, and won numerous individual awards, namely UEFA Club Forward of the Year, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, Serie A Footballer of the Year, Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year and, of course, 2010 UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match. He scored 30 goals in all competitions, including two goals in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
In the 2010-11 season however, Diego Milito was poor. Injuries limited his appearances, and after scoring only five times in the first 20 league fixture of the season, Inter Milan decided to bring in Giampaolo Pazzini as another scoring option for the team. Pazzini's good form relegated Milito to the bench for most of the remainder of the season, and the forward would not score again in the league.