Monday, April 13, 2009

Inter (Milan) won the Italian title. Tradition restored its upper hand not only by the name of the club – it was also a restoration of the old 1960s football (not that Cagliari were different the year earlier, but at least they were not one of the eternal big Italian clubs).Well, the old football was still tough and, in Italy, apparently not fading away. But it was the swan song of ‘La Grande Inter’ from the 1960s, built by Helenio Herrera. Swan song? Inter were no swans with their catenaccio. Vultures rather… and the vultures were dying… or so it looked like.
Nevertheless, nothing to brag about in Southern Europe. Spain and Italy were to be eclipsed. Fun was already elsewhere.

Sandro Mazzola and Helenio Herrera in better days, when they dictated football fashion. By 1971 Herrera was gone, but Mazzola still had something to say: Inter got its 11th Italian title. Total football was laughing in the face of Herrera, but he had the last laugh, it seems – defensive tactics quickly replaced free spirited football. Vultures refuse to die. But they looked dead… 1971 was the last year the elegant midfielder Mazzola, the only swan among the vultures of Inter, won a title.