Massimo Moratti reveals Jose Mourinho “regretted” leaving Inter for Real Madrid before he’d even made the move blames stars for the 2002 Scudetto defeat.
The former Nerazzurri patron spoke at the presentation of a new book on his 20 years at the club.
“I don’t miss Inter, because I never left it. I returned to being what I was before, in other words a fan, whether at the stadium or in front of the television. I am happy with the way things are going right now.”
Inter are top of the Serie A table and visit Juventus this evening in the Derby d’Italia, but the high point of Moratti’s history was the Treble in 2010: Scudetto, Champions League and Coppa Italia.
“That Champions League Final was the end of a journey and as Interisti we appreciated the difficulties of getting there more than the final result. After all, we couldn’t even celebrate it to the full, because after Mourinho left so soon afterwards.
“A year beforehand, Mourinho had told me that there was interest from Real Madrid. Then it was repeated. You cannot keep people prisoner, but it certainly wasn’t nice to see (Real Madrid President Florentino) Perez waiting in the car for Mou outside the Champions League Final at the Bernabeu.
“Mourinho himself regretted it even before he had made the move: a few hours later, in my office in Milan, he told me that he realised he was going to a business and not a family. Mourinho said that if he could, he would’ve remained at Inter.
“I told him to make his choices in absolute freedom. His tears upon leaving were real and I am pleased that still to this day he says he supports Inter.”
Inter take on Juventus tonight and famously lost the Scudetto to the Bianconeri on the final day of the 2001-02 season, falling 4-2 at Lazio.
“So many versions of those events have been told, but I can say with certainty that Lazio-Inter was lost during the week preceding it,” insisted Moratti.
“There was too much confidence from the most important players, too much certainty that Lazio would just roll over, with on the opposite end of the spectrum Hector Cuper wallowing in his negative predictions. We needed balance and calm. I tried to intervene, but the atmosphere had already been created.
“Of course it irritates me when people remember only Vlatislav Gresko’s errors, because that game was lost by the key players, the champions, the ones who were meant to lead the others.”