In our countdown of the Top 20 Inter players in the last 20 years, we recognise treble winning right-back Maicon in 4th spot.
There aren’t many players who could change a game in an instant, and Maicon was one of those special talents. You know a player is incredible when it takes the club a decade to find a suitable replacement.
Let’s explore Maicon’s Inter career in more detail.
Most positive impact –
In the season of 2006/07, Inter signed a promising and exciting right-back from Monaco for the fee of €6.8mil. Out of all the signings we had seen from Inter, this one would go on to make the most impact.
The signing of Maicon would see Javier Zanetti move into the midfield, and ultimately changing Inter forever.
When Maicon started with Inter, he was more of the defensive player who enjoyed the odd run forward. Even with this initial defensive mindset, Maicon still contributed 7 assists in his first two Serie A seasons.
The best of Maicon was yet to come at Inter, and the signing of Jose Mourinho as head coach allowed Maicon to reach his potential. Under Jose we would see the beast unleashed, as Maicon quickly became the best right-back in the world.
Mind-blowingly sensational –
When Maicon was at his peak it was unbelievable how phenomenal this guy was. In the season of 2009/10, there are so many moments which stand out.
I can safely say that each player contributed in that treble season for Inter, and Maicon was close to being the top performer for the Nerazzurri that season.
There are a few of goals he scored that season which stand out to me. I would highly recommend YouTubing “Best of Maicon” because we may never see another player like him in our lifetime.
AC Milan –
This was plain and simply a trademark goal from Maicon. It also showed exactly why he was successful at his whole time at Inter.
The ball is played to him on the right and he takes a slick touch to beat his man. Maicon continues to run with the ball at his feet and links up with Milito outside the box. Milito plays Maicon in on goal with a perfect pass, before Maicon settles himself with his head down and smashes the ball into the bottom corner.
Next thing you see, he’s sprinting down the field past the team benches to jump over the sponsorship boards to celebrate with the fans. This goal was deserved as Maicon played one of his greatest games in an Inter jersey. Plus beating our cross city rivals 4-0 was something to be remembered.
Hands down Maicon’s greatest individually skilled goal of his career, and probably one of the most beautiful goals I’ve seen from any Inter player in the last 20 years.
Inter were sitting 2nd on the table at the time, with Roma overtaking Inter with only 5 games left in the season.
In the match at hand, Inter are struggling to convert any chances as the score is a stalemate at 0-0 with Juventus. It’s the 71st minute and Inter are awarded a freekick on the corner of the box.
Sneijder steps up and puts the ball into the danger area, where it’s cleared after some scuffle only as far as the edge of the box.
Maicon lets the ball drop onto his knee and after takes a touch with his foot over the Juventus player coming at him. With the ball still in the air he takes another knee scooping the ball up where he is ready to take his shot.
Next second, BOOM! Buffon stands no chance as the ball whizzes into the back of the net. Inter now up 1-0 with just over 15 minutes remaining. That goal still gives me goosebumps every time I see it being replayed.
The final score finished 2-0 as Eto’o later scored. This match gave Inter enough momentum to win the Scudetto in the end.
The first leg of the semi-final in the Champions League against Barcelona proves to be Maicon’s most important goal. Again, in another trademark run, Maicon changed the game in Inter’s favour.
It was just after half time and Inter were level on the score 1-1. Messi makes a run for Barcelona before Thiago Motta disposes him and the ball trickles to Zanetti.
Zanetti quickly plays the pass to Pandev where he makes a run through the centre of the pitch. Pandev slips the ball smartly through to Milito who is now inside the box with the ball at his feet.
While this is going on, Maicon has been making a 70 yard run from his right-back position to get in line with Milito. Milito passes Maicon the ball under pressure where he takes a touch and then slides it past Valdes for a wonderful counter-attacking goal.
The goal would be crucial, as Inter would end up winning the fixture on away goals sending them into the Champions League final. The rest is history!
We may never see another –
There are players who will go down as the “best ever” such as Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona and Pele etc. Unfortunately players like Maicon will never be included in this conversation, but Maicon was a once in a generation type of player.
The thing you need to remember is, when Maicon was at his best he kept Dani Alves out of Brazil’s starting 11 including the 2010 W. That just shows how magnificent Maicon was, as Dani Alves is the most successful player in history winning 43 trophies.
As mentioned earlier, it took a decade for Inter to find the suitable replacement in Hakimi. No player has matched up to Maicon and still comparisons are made today when talking about the right-back position at Inter.
We thank Maicon for everything he gave to Inter. Every match he gave 100% and that’s all we could ever ask for. Maicon went on to make 249 appearances for Inter, scoring 20 goals and providing 20 assists.
In his time, he won 11 trophies with Inter including that unforgettable treble. I wish we could go back to those special days! So many great memories!
We will be visiting number 3 next on our countdown. Who would you like to see in that number 3 spot for the Top 20 Inter players in the past 20 years?
As always, Forza Inter!