Paul Ince describes Massimo Moratti as “a great, great man” as he reflects on his Inter career.
The Guvnor spent two seasons with the Nerazzurri in the mid-90s, and reflected on his Italian experience in a piece for Paddy Power.
“Massimo Moratti was the one that wanted me at Inter,” Ince explained.
“He’d actually shown up at the infamous Crystal Palace game, where Eric Cantona jumped into the crowd, in order to see me in action for himself. Later, he even came to my house in Manchester with all his entourage to make sure the deal was done.
“It’s hard to explain how incredible he was – he was a great, great man. He thought I was a warrior: he loved me.
“While I was there, we had some wonderful players, like Roberto Carlos, who didn’t stay as long as I’d have liked, [Javier] Zanetti, [Youri] Djorkaeff and [Ivan] Zamorano.
“But I don’t think we were the best team in the league, and we sometimes looked like the paupers compared to Milan.
“When you looked at their team, they’d have Maldini, Baresi, Costacurta – there’s no doubt we had a lesser team. We didn’t have any superstars so to speak.
“And that’s what Massimo was trying to change with his project at the club. He was ambitious and wanted to bring us up to the level of Juventus and Milan.
“Eventually, when I said I wanted to go back to England, Massimo Moratti ended up in tears. We’d just signed Ronaldo for next season, but because of family issues it was best for me to go back to the UK. I didn’t want to – I could’ve stayed there forever.
“Massimo was crying, he was really upset about it. I adored the man, and respected him. I still speak to him.
“He made those wonderful years possible. I’ll never forget them.”