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'My destiny'

Francesco Sarchi was picked as our Inter Milan fan reporter for this winning entry in our Champions Journalist competition. Here he recalls a journey of despair and triumph

I was born during the legendary 1988/89 season so you could say being Interista was my destiny; it has moulded my character. And as someone who grew up with an
AC Milan fan for an older brother, it has always been a source of pride and identity. 

I was five months old when Giovanni Trapattoni’s record-breaking side won the first scudetto in my lifetime; I was 18 when they won the second in 2007. In between I witnessed a lot of failures for us and victories for our rivals, but I never once thought of giving up on Inter. We aren't like some other fans, who only care about winning. For me, it is important how you win; I prefer good men to good players. 

Maicon celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the 2009/10 semi-final first leg

My brother’s formative years as a fan were easier than mine; the teams built by Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti were legendary – and he never missed a chance to remind me. I’ve always been surrounded by red-and-black supporters: not just my brother but my best friends too. Trust me, it was very hard going to school the day after the infamous 6-0 derby defeat in 2001; it wasn’t much better after the two times we met each other in the Champions League, in 2003 and 2005. That said, in 2007 I went with my brother to watch Milan play Manchester United as I wanted to see Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo up close. That night I understood that football is something bigger: the performance of Ancelotti’s side in a 3-0 win made me fall more deeply in love with this beautiful game, beyond the colours and my Interista faith. 

I was born during the legendary 1988/89 season so you could say being Interista was my destiny; it has moulded my character. And as someone who grew up with an
AC Milan fan for an older brother, it has always been a source of pride and identity. 

I was five months old when Giovanni Trapattoni’s record-breaking side won the first scudetto in my lifetime; I was 18 when they won the second in 2007. In between I witnessed a lot of failures for us and victories for our rivals, but I never once thought of giving up on Inter. We aren't like some other fans, who only care about winning. For me, it is important how you win; I prefer good men to good players. 

Maicon celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the 2009/10 semi-final first leg

My brother’s formative years as a fan were easier than mine; the teams built by Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti were legendary – and he never missed a chance to remind me. I’ve always been surrounded by red-and-black supporters: not just my brother but my best friends too. Trust me, it was very hard going to school the day after the infamous 6-0 derby defeat in 2001; it wasn’t much better after the two times we met each other in the Champions League, in 2003 and 2005. That said, in 2007 I went with my brother to watch Milan play Manchester United as I wanted to see Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo up close. That night I understood that football is something bigger: the performance of Ancelotti’s side in a 3-0 win made me fall more deeply in love with this beautiful game, beyond the colours and my Interista faith. 

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Still, I have the same attitude towards the derby that Bane has towards darkness in the Dark Knight Rises. To paraphrase: “You think the derby is your ally. But you merely adopted the derby – I was born in it, moulded by it!” And in that context, I must mention my all-time favourite Inter player: Walter Samuel. Not only is he a 2010 treble hero, but he also set a record by winning the first ten Milan derbies that he took part in. He was a silent hero. Never have I seen a defender with the skills that he had, allied to unbelievable charisma.

Walter Samuel set a record by winning the first ten Milan derbies he took part in

Other heroes include Roberto Baggio; I love the brace he scored against Real in 1998, coming off the bench to overturn them in just over 20 minutes. And to this day I try in vain to copy Adriano’s goal away to Basel in a 2004/05 Champions League qualifier. That night, with the sort of strength that only L’Imperatore could unleash, he literally broke through the Swiss side’s defence. 

In 2010 I was fortunate to attend the semi-final between Inter and Barcelona at the San Siro. It was our turn to challenge, and I can remember everything: the tension of the day before; the wait at the stadium for kick-off; the suffering when the Blaugrana scored; the comeback; and then the incredulity after the historic moment I had just witnessed. Such powerful emotions!

More at champions-journal.com/champions-journalist

I was born during the legendary 1988/89 season so you could say being Interista was my destiny; it has moulded my character. And as someone who grew up with an
AC Milan fan for an older brother, it has always been a source of pride and identity. 

I was five months old when Giovanni Trapattoni’s record-breaking side won the first scudetto in my lifetime; I was 18 when they won the second in 2007. In between I witnessed a lot of failures for us and victories for our rivals, but I never once thought of giving up on Inter. We aren't like some other fans, who only care about winning. For me, it is important how you win; I prefer good men to good players. 

Maicon celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the 2009/10 semi-final first leg

My brother’s formative years as a fan were easier than mine; the teams built by Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti were legendary – and he never missed a chance to remind me. I’ve always been surrounded by red-and-black supporters: not just my brother but my best friends too. Trust me, it was very hard going to school the day after the infamous 6-0 derby defeat in 2001; it wasn’t much better after the two times we met each other in the Champions League, in 2003 and 2005. That said, in 2007 I went with my brother to watch Milan play Manchester United as I wanted to see Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo up close. That night I understood that football is something bigger: the performance of Ancelotti’s side in a 3-0 win made me fall more deeply in love with this beautiful game, beyond the colours and my Interista faith. 

'My destiny'
Fans

'My destiny'

Francesco Sarchi was picked as our Inter Milan fan reporter for this winning entry in our Champions Journalist competition. Here he recalls a journey of despair and triumph

I was born during the legendary 1988/89 season so you could say being Interista was my destiny; it has moulded my character. And as someone who grew up with an
AC Milan fan for an older brother, it has always been a source of pride and identity. 

I was five months old when Giovanni Trapattoni’s record-breaking side won the first scudetto in my lifetime; I was 18 when they won the second in 2007. In between I witnessed a lot of failures for us and victories for our rivals, but I never once thought of giving up on Inter. We aren't like some other fans, who only care about winning. For me, it is important how you win; I prefer good men to good players. 

Maicon celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the 2009/10 semi-final first leg

My brother’s formative years as a fan were easier than mine; the teams built by Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti were legendary – and he never missed a chance to remind me. I’ve always been surrounded by red-and-black supporters: not just my brother but my best friends too. Trust me, it was very hard going to school the day after the infamous 6-0 derby defeat in 2001; it wasn’t much better after the two times we met each other in the Champions League, in 2003 and 2005. That said, in 2007 I went with my brother to watch Milan play Manchester United as I wanted to see Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo up close. That night I understood that football is something bigger: the performance of Ancelotti’s side in a 3-0 win made me fall more deeply in love with this beautiful game, beyond the colours and my Interista faith. 

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

I was born during the legendary 1988/89 season so you could say being Interista was my destiny; it has moulded my character. And as someone who grew up with an
AC Milan fan for an older brother, it has always been a source of pride and identity. 

I was five months old when Giovanni Trapattoni’s record-breaking side won the first scudetto in my lifetime; I was 18 when they won the second in 2007. In between I witnessed a lot of failures for us and victories for our rivals, but I never once thought of giving up on Inter. We aren't like some other fans, who only care about winning. For me, it is important how you win; I prefer good men to good players. 

Maicon celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the 2009/10 semi-final first leg

My brother’s formative years as a fan were easier than mine; the teams built by Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti were legendary – and he never missed a chance to remind me. I’ve always been surrounded by red-and-black supporters: not just my brother but my best friends too. Trust me, it was very hard going to school the day after the infamous 6-0 derby defeat in 2001; it wasn’t much better after the two times we met each other in the Champions League, in 2003 and 2005. That said, in 2007 I went with my brother to watch Milan play Manchester United as I wanted to see Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo up close. That night I understood that football is something bigger: the performance of Ancelotti’s side in a 3-0 win made me fall more deeply in love with this beautiful game, beyond the colours and my Interista faith. 

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Still, I have the same attitude towards the derby that Bane has towards darkness in the Dark Knight Rises. To paraphrase: “You think the derby is your ally. But you merely adopted the derby – I was born in it, moulded by it!” And in that context, I must mention my all-time favourite Inter player: Walter Samuel. Not only is he a 2010 treble hero, but he also set a record by winning the first ten Milan derbies that he took part in. He was a silent hero. Never have I seen a defender with the skills that he had, allied to unbelievable charisma.

Walter Samuel set a record by winning the first ten Milan derbies he took part in

Other heroes include Roberto Baggio; I love the brace he scored against Real in 1998, coming off the bench to overturn them in just over 20 minutes. And to this day I try in vain to copy Adriano’s goal away to Basel in a 2004/05 Champions League qualifier. That night, with the sort of strength that only L’Imperatore could unleash, he literally broke through the Swiss side’s defence. 

In 2010 I was fortunate to attend the semi-final between Inter and Barcelona at the San Siro. It was our turn to challenge, and I can remember everything: the tension of the day before; the wait at the stadium for kick-off; the suffering when the Blaugrana scored; the comeback; and then the incredulity after the historic moment I had just witnessed. Such powerful emotions!

More at champions-journal.com/champions-journalist

I was born during the legendary 1988/89 season so you could say being Interista was my destiny; it has moulded my character. And as someone who grew up with an
AC Milan fan for an older brother, it has always been a source of pride and identity. 

I was five months old when Giovanni Trapattoni’s record-breaking side won the first scudetto in my lifetime; I was 18 when they won the second in 2007. In between I witnessed a lot of failures for us and victories for our rivals, but I never once thought of giving up on Inter. We aren't like some other fans, who only care about winning. For me, it is important how you win; I prefer good men to good players. 

Maicon celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the 2009/10 semi-final first leg

My brother’s formative years as a fan were easier than mine; the teams built by Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti were legendary – and he never missed a chance to remind me. I’ve always been surrounded by red-and-black supporters: not just my brother but my best friends too. Trust me, it was very hard going to school the day after the infamous 6-0 derby defeat in 2001; it wasn’t much better after the two times we met each other in the Champions League, in 2003 and 2005. That said, in 2007 I went with my brother to watch Milan play Manchester United as I wanted to see Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo up close. That night I understood that football is something bigger: the performance of Ancelotti’s side in a 3-0 win made me fall more deeply in love with this beautiful game, beyond the colours and my Interista faith. 

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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