Every legend has its rules. There must be a team to cheer for. There must be top-class opponents. There must be a fall and a triumph. If the Inter side of 1988/89 became the stuff of legend, it’s because they followed the rules. A strong team, the most competitive Serie A ever, a stumble, then an unstoppable charge. This is the Inter side remembered
by an entire generation of football fans, a season that went down as a record, a record that became legend. Six new faces were brought in to shake things up. It was the third season with Trapattoni in charge and Inter already had Zenga, Bergomi, Ferri, Matteoli, Mandorlini and Serena. They were bolstered by the likes of
Bianchi, Nicola Berti, Ramón Díaz and the two Germans signed from Bayern Munich,
Andy Brehme and Lothar Matthäus. It was a great team, but to become a truly
exceptional team a defeat and a pact was needed. We were knocked out of the Coppa Italia
by Fiorentina, I think. We lost 4-3 and the press turned on Trap:
“He needs to go!” There was a lot of criticism right away. There was a meeting between the coach
and the players on the pitch at Appiano Gentile. I remember Trap was almost in tears
and we said to him: “Boss, we’re all with you.” We all realised then that
we could achieve something big. That elimination was the making of this group. That’s where the ride kicked off. It wasn’t a very convincing start,
but you could see that we’d got going. It was a moment that roused us, so to speak. Luckily for us the campaign kicked off on 9 October. I think that, overall, we deserved to win the game even though Ascoli hit the bar. I think the three or four chances we created
came from open play. We went behind in the first half,
after Pisa’s Bernazzani scored. But we performed excellently in that
first period, always on the attack. We had about four or five chances, I think. During the break Pellegrini came into the dressing room. The president was worried, just like the fans. He said: “We’re back to the usual way of things
– we win one game then lose another.” I said to him: “No, this year we’ll win the league,
because this is very strong side.” Lots of bravery – very important for the match.
We won 4-1 with bravery. With a bit of luck we can win the league. Without that luck, we won’t win it. My intention was always to build strong teams and I think in my 10 years as president,
Inter were always the main challengers to the team that would win the Scudetto. I met Trapattoni in Villar Perosa, when Pellegrini owned the hotel in Villar Perosa. He was an important person
when it came to my running of the club because we knew each other – plus we spoke to each other in our local dialect,
so we had a good understanding. He was a real expert on football and players. We wrote a list of names,
with an outline of the various roles. I was very satisfied that,
with the help of the president, who helped us with everything,
we brought in seven players we’d planned. There was a phone call at home, which my mother picked up. She said: “It’s Trapattoni on the phone!” I honestly thought it was a mate playing a prank on me because there’d been talk for a while
in the papers about interest in me from Inter, Juve, Napoli. So to start with I thought it was a joke. The team was assembled perfectly and,
after a slightly underwhelming start, the team gradually grew in confidence
and were devastating in some games. As a football fan, I enjoyed
having a relationship with these great players who gave me great pleasure. Sometimes there’d be regrets but overall I’m happy with the relationships I’ve had with everyone. This is an Inter side that wants to go far
and which plays with heart. This team gives everything. We played very well in the first half
and could have put the game to bed. The first half went very well
but the score was only 1-0. We pushed on in the second period,
perhaps having more of the play. but Inter were always very dangerous on the counter. It’s nice because we are friends –
you need that in some games. I hope he makes some great saves
but that there are a few shots he can’t stop. If I win, I’ll invite him for dinner. I can’t – I need to go straight home. They could well have thought that year that even throwing grenades at me they wouldn’t have scored. At the same time, however, I had top guys in front of me who knew what they were doing. We were very solid in every area of the pitch starting in defence, where we were criticised at the start of the season. We showed we’ve got the necessary focus
for big games – we’re still the Inter rearguard. I spent a lot of my teenage years with Beppe because we met at a trial at Inter in 1977. There were a series of trials
and they took on two of us: me and him. I turned to him and thought he was the bus driver or a player from the Primavera, because he had this full moustache
and a very serious air about him. I spent many years of my life with him. He was one of the best in the world, exceptional in one-on-ones. Beppe Bergomi’s qualities… I think they were more general:
his serious, hard-working approach, desire to improve, good physicality and dedication. Bergomi was stupendous in every way. A great player but also a proper guy, a true man. Uncle Bergomi was one of the best I ever played with. A clean challenge – so swift from Berti! Now on the counter… still Berti! Berti, Berti! He shoots… what a goal! Berti scores! Exceptional! I went to my knees. It was snowing, my father was there
– he was still alive – in Munich. It was an incredible feeling. An amazing goal – I’m always reminded of it. People always jokingly remind me of the return leg. That’s how it is, but that goal still remains – one of the best in Inter’s history. We can say it now:
that goal against Bayern was a nightmare! He kept on trying it. After scoring that goal, which was fantastic, extraordinary, worthy of the Nobel Prize, whenever he got the ball he’d try and do the same thing. We used to say: “We’ll open the gates
and you take the road from Milan to Como!” Nicolino, Nicola Berti,
“the crazy horse”, as many called him. He was a very important player
to the record-breaking Inter team but also for the many years he was in the side. He had great physicality
– he could run 80 yards and score all on his own. He didn’t have first-rate technique. Nicola’s strength was always
his physicality and fearlessness. He was a pleasant surprise, as a team-mate
but also as a professional and player. He had a great influence –
he was a driving force, also with his gestures. He’d always celebrate in a way
that got the crowd going. He earned affection and provided real spirit. He perhaps had some shortcomings
from a technical perspective but he made up for that
with constant desire and unselfishness. Nicola Berti was fundamental for the
Nerazzurri fans – that’s what they want to see. The Inter fans would come and say:
“Give everything. Play with heart. The fans will get behind you and raise you up.” They see me and start chanting:
“Nicola Berti give us a goal.” I see this wonderful image. I saw everyone in the Curva Nord
moving towards the ‘arancio’ stand. I was almost in tears –
my son didn’t know what was going on. Don’t get me all emotional like that, guys! Honestly, it was crazy. I get goosebumps even now. Wonderful. We played to win the game.
We perhaps struggled a bit in the second half. However, all in all, we’re top and happy. I think it’s down to the spirit we showed
in this very tough game, and also with the week we have coming up. It was crazy. Brehme got injured
and we conceded three goals in 15 minutes. We then managed to score,
with me providing the assist for Serena, on the stroke of half-time. We then had a brilliant second half, we kept pushing forward and just needed one goal. It was the sort of game you can’t say anything about
because we gave it our all. It was the type of defeat that makes you proud
when you watch it back because you gave it your all. We played rather well and were unlucky. Trap didn’t change it straight away
when Brehme got injured. He waited a few minutes to see if Andy would make it. In those six minutes,
the game got away from us, although I scored to make it 3-1
on the stroke of half-time. We had some fantastic chances in the second half, but we just couldn’t put them away. It was the derby three days later. The derby with Italian champions Milan certainly was a big deal. The derby that year
was a battle between revolutionaries. The revolutionaries who
were innovating the game and the revolutionaries who
wanted to overturn a hierarchy. It was a battle to rule the city
and to conquer Italy. It was football at its very finest;
a contest worthy of the greatest stage. You get into the ring with Tyson and say, “Let’s just see where I can limit the damage
and then I’ll hit him when I can.” If he gives you a chance, you have to knock him out. On that occasion, we did really well, with Beppe
putting in a cross for Aldo from the right and we really enjoyed that moment, which boosted
our self-esteem and belief in ourselves and so we managed to pick up a crucial result. It was so important for us. The atmosphere created around us
before the Bayern game was fantastic among fans
and everyone at the club. We were all united, but the loss on the Wednesday
could’ve disrupted the balance that we’d struck. We were aware of that and
battled for the 90 minutes today. wanting to come out on top at all costs
to get back to winning ways. It’ll be hard to play well every Sunday,
but we’ll try. I’ve scored four headers in the league this year and hope to score more key ones. Serena: 25 goals guaranteed. It was a great team display. The tip came from Lothar Matthaus. We were looking for a left-back,
who would best complete that team, or to say it correctly: that brilliant team. Lothar said to me, “There’s a player in Germany
who I know and who’s fantastic. Andy was a great friend of mine, not just at Inter,
but also at Bayern and with Germany. You all saw what he did for Inter. He was a player who arrived
without sparking much interest among those who
didn’t follow international football. We knew he was a quality player, one who’d certainly played a key role, not just for his club,
but also for the national team. When in possession, he was a player
who moved the ball with clear ideas and he had remarkable technical ability
for his position. I think he was a playmaker playing out wide, and when you had problems on the ball,
you’d give it to him. Even if he wasn’t help by his team-mates,
with his left and right feet he seemed a bit like a duck when he ran,
but he was fantastic. He could pick you out
40 metres away on the other side, even if pressed by two or three players. He could hit it with his right or his left
and his passing was precise. He always kept a cool head and remained calm,
even during the toughest periods of the game. It really was a fantastic league campaign. They have an incredible goalkeeper;
I think that’s Inter’s strength. Their defence certainly suffered today,
against Antonio Careca and Carnevale, but Zenga was behind them
and he had a blinder. I still remember when my father came
and said, “Inter have signed you.” There were tears of joy
and it was such a strong emotion. There were three of us: Ambu, Fumagalli and me. If I’m not mistaken, Inter paid 1 million euro
for the three of us in materials: Footballs and the rest… That’s when my adventure began. He was the number one goalkeeper in the world. There’s no doubt he was a wonderful goalkeeper. He had a rather special character type,
but that didn’t matter much. Walter was named the best goalkeeper
in the world on multiple occasions. and I don’t think there was much competition. We didn’t win much back then, so the spotlight wasn’t on us
domestically and in Europe, but he often caught the eye
with his extraordinary saves, which was down to his attitude, positional sense, and the charisma that
he transmitted to the whole team. I’m happy because I play football, I do a job that I enjoy I play for the team from my city and
we’re top of the league. I couldn’t be happier. It was an extraordinary campaign
right from the start, with how it’d gone
in the transfer market that summer, and how the bond between the team and the coach
had been strengthened. That’s how the year went and I’ll repeat,
in the Bayern game, if we’d had that slice of luck that evening, just as we’d had at the start,
with the league season being delayed, we probably would’ve won a spectacular double. It went well, we dug in against a strong side. Fiorentina are a team that, as I’d expected, regardless of how they’re doing in
the Coppa Italia, could cause us problems. Inter are a great side. I don’t think today’s defeat will derail them. They can certainly compete
for the Scudetto with Napoli, but we produced a great display today
and I think it was a fair result. At the start, you need to learn to fly. Right now, we’re just focusing on ourselves, even though, from a selfish point of view,
we might hope our rivals slip up, just as people have said. My strength is continuing to work hard, I’ve suffered so much,
but the results will certainly come. Ramon Diaz came in, when it was supposed
to be Majer, and he had a brilliant season. Although there wasn’t much initial excitement
about Brehme and Diaz, they showed what fantastic players
they were on the pitch. To have a league campaign like that,
you need top players, who can dig deep and reach the next level. I used to link up so well with Ramon.
he was a player who’d drift out wide, and was so technically gifted,
as well as being very fast. I would open things up for him as the target man, and he’d break into the area
when I headed it on to him. I think he scored 12 or 13 goals
between November and the end of the season. He did so well, and he was a boy who’d come in that everyone loved. I remember Ramon Diaz’s tears when he left. It was as if a family member
were joining the military. I feel there’s an element of luck involved
when a defender scores, but that doesn’t apply to
what we work on in the week. Do you feel it’s in the bag? A bit! I’m not scared of Milan, Napoli or Juve. We’re a good team with fine players
and I’m not scared of anyone. “Ja, ja, coach. Juventus are good, but we’re better!” Lothar Matthaus had been recommended to me
by “Kalle” Rummenigge. I remember that I organised a small dinner
at mine with “Kalle” and Lothar. Lothar said to me, “I can’t come next year, but I’ll play for Inter in two years if you agree.” When I’m asked which foreigner had the biggest
influence and made the biggest difference, I say “Lothar Matthaus”. He was a great, a Ballon d’Or winner, a leader. He’d put in a wonderful shift. I recognised Lothar Matthaus
as the leader of that side, because he was the one who would win you games
and he’d say so. He’d say, “Beppe, I’m going to score tomorrow.” When things weren’t going well in a game, Matthaus would pop up on the edge of the box, he wanted the ball and would say, “I’ve got this.” There were rumours that he had a new girlfriend
in northern Switzerland and every day he’d drive to see her. Trapattoni would check the speedometer
because he’d leave the keys with Casagrande. He would check the speedometer and
always saw the mileage was above average. He got Zenga, Bergomi and me involved and said,
“What’s the German doing? He does 2,500-3,000 kilometres every day.
Something doesn’t add up.” And so he changed his car every day. Trap said, “He knows I’m checking his car!” He had mental strength in sport,
on the pitch, in training, which put his mischief from the evening
before or the next day into the background. He was always the best on the pitch. He was complete: he was fast, he had an exceptional right foot, he was physically strong. When the team needed a player like him,
he was always ready. I didn’t come to Inter to play
for third or fourth place. I came here to win. OK, defend it! This Inter team could make history today. Let’s leave past honours
to those who achieved them. We can say that we have hope
for our own possible future honours. Lothar, number four! I had the chance to agree on a three-year contract. I said, “In three years,
I guarantee we’ll win something.” Trapattoni had a choice to make: he had to choose between Collovati and me,
and decided to put his faith in me at the time. I tried to repay him as quickly as possible. He moved me from a second striker
to a centre-forward. and the Trapattoni years were when I really established myself, and exploded physically as an athlete. Trapattoni was simply the master, in terms of building a team,
bringing out the players’ attributes and he was an excellent motivator. As for the way Trapattoni managed the team
and his way of speaking and explaining things,
it made you able to give your all, to be ready in games and always say yes to him, because you knew he was a demanding coach,
but he knew your worth and what you were doing. Roma have scored. Roma take the lead through Voller. He was my best coach
and an exceptional person as well. He won the lot in his career and not just once,
but multiple times. When he was at Stuttgart, I was his assistant
and it was fantastic to be with him. Trap will probably still be coaching at 80;
it really runs through his blood. He’s the type who understands… Ten years ago, he was already reaching places
that coaches nowadays don’t reach. He’s been part of three footballing generations
and nobody has a bad word to say about him. Inter are “stupendous”,
just as a Milan newspaper described us. We’ve been amazing this year. We were rubbish last year,
but we’ve been superb this year. We certainly had a strong team, a group of leaders, with players who’d been at Inter for years,
like Zenga, Bergomi, Baresi, who really helped us integrate ourselves
in the squad. Anyone who comes through the academy
and makes history at the club becomes an important role model. The atmosphere, the coach, the moment when
that excitement springs into life. Now and again, I watch those games back
because I enjoy it, to see that passion, calmness and
those clear-headed players running around. He makes you feel that
everyone can perform at their best. I saw the team’s quality and that’s why
all the work with the coach, and not just with Trapattoni,
but his technical staff as well, was something both new and interesting. I wanted to learn new things in Italy every day. I was sure from the start that we were among
the favourites to win the league. Neither side came out on top,
but maybe we’re the happier of the two. Bring it up! After equalising, we tried to manage the game, because taking unnecessary risks
would’ve been foolish. We still have a six-point lead and
managed to draw away to a good Juve side. We’re pleased. All the top players were playing here. The teams had the best players in the world. Every Sunday you had to face
the Van Bastens, the Gullits, the Carecas, the Mancinis, the Viallis.
They were all here. Maradona… If I had to make a list of
all the players I marked, it’d be hard to find one who wasn’t good. I think he was the best and
he made the difference for Napoli. A great player. So many forget Careca. As for Careca, besides having a team
that played to his strengths, he was simply unplayable at times. Ruud Gullit was wonderful, so quick, tall, strong
and technically gifted. What a player. I have Van Basten, Gullit, Rijkaard, Donadoni, Maldini,
Franco Baresi, Billy Costacurta and the rest in front of me. but I was trying to understand: “They’ll be thinking the same. We have Walter
to beat, how are we going to score?” Milan were a great team, but we had so much heart. It was with that heart that we won the Scudetto. And so it came to the decisive day. Inter led Napoli by seven points: two more points, a win, and Inter would claim
the Scudetto with four games to spare. Napoli were perhaps unlikely
to catch up at that late stage, but they were certainly keen to ruin Inter’s Scudetto party. Lads, here… Go on, Giovanni! Aldo! Come on, it’s over! We’re champions of Italy! It’s a remarkable and unique feat. It’s a brilliant achievement which this team
have wanted since day one and they deserve it. It’s amazing and these fans are magnificent! We’ve been top since day one,
so we’ve shown we’re the best. I can’t take it anymore, I swear. I’m over the moon! Nerazzurri, allez allez! Nerazzurri allez! When you have exceptional lads, like in this
squad, we drive one another forward, we help one another and
success just has to follow. This Scudetto is worth as much as the three
league titles I won with Bayern in Germany. 52 points in 30 games.
This Inter side are incredible! Congratulations, Walter, you deserve it. I’m happy and proud. I’m happy for our fantastic fans, proud of our team which have tasted success,
been convincing and entertained. Winning it with four games to spare
is remarkable. We enjoyed playing together,
so we kept going after winning the Scudetto and tried to win the last four games. I never thought about the record, but when
you taste success, you want more and more of it. It was a memorable feat because
we took on that Milan side, as well as that Juve team,
and won the league at a canter. Those small victories were achieved
on the pitch minute after minute. That team were formidable and should’ve had
a sustained period of success. Even now when I think about it,
I have to close my eyes, I was so lucky to play alongside top players. I must say this: I played football for 21 years, but my four years in Italy with Inter
were more exciting than all the rest. That record marked a boundary
which no one else was ever able to cross. The 1988/89 season saw Inter go further
than anyone else ever managed to go, creating a legend of unbeatable numbers
and unforgettable stars. That’s why the record-breaking Inter side
is not just nostalgia. It is history.

Daniel Ostrander

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0 thoughts on “INTER 1988/89 THE RECORD-BREAKING CAMPAIGN – 30 YEARS LATER | An IMH Production 🐍🖤💙 [CC ENG+ITA]

  1. Ale Nerazzurro says:

    Visto tutto di persona😜… 👍❤️⚫🔵⚫ricordi Indelebili ⚫🔵⚫per sempre… e solo Forza Inter Olèèèè ❤️❤️❤️

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