Inter celebrate long waited title victory

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Inter Milan on Sunday ended an 11-year wait to be crowned Italian champions for the 19th time when Atalanta’s 1-1 draw with Sassuolo made it mathematically impossible for the runaway leaders to be caught.

The Nerazzurri’s triumph ended a run of nine consecutive title wins by Juventus and sparked huge celebrations as thousands of fans took to the streets of Milan.

Inter’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku was among them, as the Belgian was filmed singing and flying the club’s shirt as he leaned out of a car window.

“For me this is a moment to celebration with the people,” the Belgian told Sky Italia.

“I went out with my friend because seeing the fans is the most beautiful thing, and I’m happy I did that. For a lot of us players at Inter this was our first title and you must celebrate this moment. This was the best year of my career.”

Conte claimed Inter’s Champions League exit was a significant moment in their season as he celebrated winning the Serie A title.

Conte felt criticism of Inter’s European form was unjust and thinks that disappointment strengthened his side’s resolve in their Scudetto challenge.

Speaking to Rai and Sky Sport Italia, he said: “I think the key moment was in the week we exited the Champions League, when criticism rained down on us in perhaps an exaggerated way.

“It wasn’t easy. We had a group of guys who weren’t used to winning. We did well to compact ourselves and take criticism to become even stronger.

“They asked me what Inter needed; I replied that every player must raise the bar, not only from a footballing point of view, but also from a mental point of view.

“I put it among the most important successes of my career. It was difficult because it was not an easy choice for me to come to Inter, during a time when the team was certainly not competitive or had the resources to achieve something important.

Inter’s triumph ended Juventus’ nine-year reign as Italian champions, an era of dominance Conte played a major part in by leading the Turin club to the first three league titles of that run between 2011 and 2014.

The 51-year-old also won the 2016-17 Premier League with Chelsea, and enjoyed a glittering playing career with Juve.

The former midfielder won five Serie A crowns, the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia among other honours in Turin.

However, Conte’s future remains uncertain despite the title success, as the Italian club are struggling with financial issues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked by RAI for a percentage chance of Conte staying on next season, Marotta said: “I hope 100%. We know we are in a difficult time for sport, not just football, and this inevitably affects the decisions of the big clubs.

“For example, we have lost around 70 million euros of income. This means our power in the transfer market will be reduced.

“There is no plan B,” he added. “There is a plan A and I think Conte can continue this adventure with us, he has a rapport with the fans and the club, these are fundamental aspects.”

But Conte, who has one year remaining on his contract, was less willing to give a definitive answer to the question.

“We have thought a lot about the present, leading Inter back to the title after so many years was too important,” he told Sky Italia.

“Now the club president is here and there are four games left. There will be time to talk together and understand the situation, to try and organise ourselves and see what comes from it.

“For now, I’m enjoying the moment with my family, the players and the club.”

DPA / Reuters

Photo – Inter supporters celebrate in Piazza del Duomo the victory of the Italian Serie A (Scudetto) in Milan, Italy, 02 May 2021. Inter won the 19th title of his history and the first since 2009-2010 season. EPA-EFE/Mourad Balti Touati

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