Inter lift Champions League as Mourinho walks out for Real

Afp May 23, 2010

MADRID: Diego Milito scored both goals as Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Champions League final at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday as charismatic coach Jose Mourinho engineered a historic treble.

Argentine striker Milito embarrassed each of Bayern’s centre-backs in turn as the Bavarians’ vulnerable defensive core was ruthlessly exposed. In their first Champions League final since 1972, Inter won their third European title and first since 1965. They also became the first Italian team to achieve the treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League. Despite a bright opening, Bayern were denied their own treble hopes for the second time having also missed out at the death in 1999 when Manchester United beat them in Barcelona.

The victory was also the perfect way for Mourinho to sign off as Inter coach with the Portuguese expected to be named the new coach of Real Madrid next week. Milito’s brace settles the final Milito’s first goal on 35 minutes came against the run of play and from a defensive lapse as Inter targeted the fragile heart of Bayern’s defence. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar punted the ball upfield and Milito held off Martin Demichelis to flick it on to Sneijder. The Argentine forward then turned and left his compatriot on the wrong side of goal before taking Sneijder’s return pass and exploiting the gap behind Demichelis to clip the ball over Butt. Milito settled the match 20 minutes from time.

He beat Van Buyten one-on-one, dropped a shoulder before stroking the ball home past Butt with aplomb for his sixth goal in the tournament this season. Jose plans his exit from Inter Having become only the third coach to have won Europe’s premier competition with two different clubs -- he won it with Porto in 2004 -- he said he wants to go one better. “I want to be the only coach to win the Champions League with three different clubs,” he told Rai TV. “It’s more likely that I will leave rather than stay.” Mourinho, who joined Inter two years ago, and has also won two Serie A titles and an Italian Cup, admitted he is being courted by Real Madrid. “Only Real are interested in me but I haven’t spoken with anyone and I haven’t signed anything. I promised I’d speak after the final.

When I win I don’t stop and here (in Italy) I have won everything. I’ve won the Champions League with two clubs and I can do it with three. “There are many things (in Italy) that I haven’t liked and for three to four months I’ve been thinking of going.” Mourinho’s players, celebrating an historic treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles, are resigned to the coach leaving. “Unfortunately it’s true,” said captain Javier Zanetti. “The coach is leaving. This victory is his.”

Published in the Express Tribune, May 24th,  2010.