Saturday, May 22, 2010

Diego Milito's two brilliant goals 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.


- Milito 34,
- Milito 70

**INTER Milan's 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final will be remembered more for Diego Milito's two brilliant goals and the sub-plots and intrigues surrounding the game rather than the football.
Staged in Real Madrid's awesome Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Uefa president Michel Platini's idea of switching the final from a Wednesday to a Saturday lent even more drama to the event than usual. The noisy, rollicking input from both sets of fans created an unforgettable atmosphere.

A moment of shared respect summed up the essential bonhomie of the occasion and it came when Milito, waving at the crowd in celebration, suddenly realised he was waving at the Bayern fans. But instead of booing him the German supporters warmly applauded him back.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho hugged Bayern winger Arjen Robben – they were together for three years at Chelsea – during a short break of play in the first half. Mourinho and Bayern manager Louis Van Gaal, whose friendship goes back to their days together at Barcelona, even hugged before the end of the game with Inter's victory all but assured.

At times it was more of a love-in than a win-at-all-costs final, but there was hardly a malicious tackle or a cross word and the game more than lived up to expectations. Never a classic, it was still totally enthralling. Mourinho said his men "followed my instructions perfectly" and eventually finished as convincing winners.

The two goals Milito scored to beat Bayern capped an astonishing run of personal success after scoring the only goal against AS Roma when Inter won the Italian Cup on 5 May, and the only goal last week against Siena when they clinched the Serie A title.

The 30-year-old Argentine now heads to South Africa for his first World Cup, while Mourinho looks all set to leave Milan for Madrid – where he could seek to be reunited with Milito, a likely signing target along with Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder. While Mourinho won his personal duel with Van Gaal, Sneijder ultimately had more impact than his friend and Dutch international team mate Robben, who worked tirelessly down Bayern's right but could not find a goal for himself or misfiring strike pair Ivica Olic and Thomas Mueller.

Milito made his presence felt. He got the breakthrough after 35 minutes when he chose his spot perfectly after a long clearance upfield by goalkeeper Julio Cesar. He made the game safe 20 minutes from time by rounding Daniel Van Buyten, switching feet and giving Hans-Jorg Butt no chance with a curling inswinger. Inter's fans and their players celebrated their long-awaited success for almost an hour after the game ended, while Mourinho only briefly joined the party, raising and lowering the European Cup in one swift movement – leaving centre-stage to his players.

The only other men to win the European Cup with two different clubs were Ernst Happel (Feyenoord in 1970 and Hamburg SV in 1983) and Ottmar Hitzfeld (Borussia Dortmund in 1997 and Bayern in 2001). With time on his side, there seems little doubt that Mourinho has more Champions League victories in him – wherever he may end up in the future.

Team Line-Ups :

Bayern Munich : Hans-Jorg Butt, Daniel van Buyten, Martin Demichelis, Philipp Lahm, Holger Badstuber, Hamit Altintop (Miroslav Klose, 63), Arjen Robben, Mark van Bommel,
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ivica Olic (Mario Gomez, 74), Thomas Muller

Internazionale : Soares de Espindola Julio Cesar, Ferreira Lucio, Douglas Sisenando Maicon, Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu (Dejan Stankovic, 68), Javier Zanetti, Wesley Sneijder, Esteban Matias Cambiasso, Samuel Eto'o, Diego Alberto Milito (Marco Materazzi, 90), Goran Pandev (Sulley Muntari, 79)


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