In our countdown of the Top 20 Inter players in the last 20 years, we recognise treble winning striker Diego Milito in 6th spot.
Milito will forever be remembered as the player who scored a brace in the Champions League final. It’s a match we will never forget, and Milito was absolutely special on that day.
Let’s look further into Milito’s Inter career.
The season prior to signing with Inter, Milito had a fantastic season at Genoa. Before his time with Genoa was up, Milito was linked with a massive transfer to the Italian giants.
As soon as the transfer window opened, the rumour would become truth and Milito was an Inter player. The Nerazzurri would complete a monster deal including Milito and Motta to Inter, with several players including Bonucci going the other way to Genoa.
Since Inter had signed Milito, they saw him as the player to lead the line as we would later see Ibrahimović transferred to Barcelona. The signing would be a masterpiece move, as Milito would fit straight in joining his fellow countrymen in Cambiasso, Zanetti and Samuel.
That wonder season –
The reason why Milito ranks so high in this countdown is because of that phenomenal season in 2009/10.
As the season went by, Milito kept adding goals to his tally. He would finish with a total of 30 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions. This included the unforgettable double against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
The standout match from Milito would be the most decisive in my opinion of Milito’s Inter career. The first leg of the Champions League semi final against Barcelona. I know that probably sounds strange knowing that Milito scored a double in the final.
In the match against Barcelona, Milito had 2 assists and scored the final goal for a 3-1 win. Milito was the shining star in that first leg as he was involved in everything. His involvement and contribution would be decisive, as he did enough to send Inter through to the final even with the second leg being lost 1-0.
Milito was a major part in making Inter the first Italian team to win the Triplete. As you know, this included the Serie A title, Coppa Italia and Champions League title.
Diego’s marvelous showing in the Champions League final earned him the player of the match. He was also named UEFA Player of the Year, UEFA Forward of the Year and Serie A Player of the Year for that stellar season.
The years following –
The following season after the treble, Milito really struggled. He definitely wasn’t the same player from the year before.
Milito was troubled with muscular problems for most of the campaign. Even when he took the field, you could see something was bothering him. The injuries would mean that Milito could only tally 5 goals from 23 appearances which was very poor. Although he was able to notch up 7 assists which was the most of any Inter player.
In the 2011/12 season we saw Milito back to his best in Serie A. Diego scored 24 goals in 33 appearances, including two hattricks. One was against his old side Genoa, while the other came in the cross city derby against Milan.
Some impressive performances that season, but he was still struggling in the Champions League. Inter crashed out to Marseille in the round of 16 which was very disappointing.
Knee injury and decline –
To begin the 2012/13 season, Milito and Inter were both playing well. The coach was Andrea Stramaccioni at the time and Inter were playing a very attractive brand of football.
There is a special match against Juventus where Inter was the away side in that fixture. Milito was instrumental in the victory as Inter travelled to Turin and bagged all three points. We would see Diego bag a brace in this mammoth win.
Unfortunately a couple of months later, Milito suffered a serious knee injury rupturing his ACL. This would rule him out for the remainder of the season, as Inter went from 3rd to finish 9th on the table.
The last season Milito would spend at Inter was in 2013/14. This was the year that Inter were in bad shape and Milito just couldn’t perform anymore. He could only manage 2 goals in 17 appearances which was by far his worst statistics at Inter.
The injuries jut plagued Milito as he struggled to stay on the field. For the remainder of the year, Milito was used as a sub and didn’t really make any impact.
If we look back, Milito was an absolute superstar in his Inter career and a great role model for kids to look up to. His professionalism on and off the field makes his very special in our hearts. Thank you for everything you gave for the black and blue. We cherish it all!
We will be visiting number 5 next on our countdown. Who would you like to see in that number 5 spot for the Top 20 Inter players in the past 20 years?
As always Forza Inter!