Antonio Conte has guided Internazionale to a first Serie A title in more than ten years. The Milan side landed the scudetto with four games to spare this weekend, after Atalanta failed to beat Sassuolo on Sunday. Find the latest Serie A betting here
A day earlier, Inter had claimed a 2-0 victory away to Crotone to put themselves within grasp of this long awaited league title win.
In a season when Italian football’s status quo stumbled, Inter are unbeaten in Serie A since early January.
Juventus have dominated the domestic scene for the last decade, but they currently sit third in the league table, some 13 points behind the Nerazzuri.
And the likelihood of Andrea Pirlo continuing to manage Juve after this season must be in question after such a disappointing season for the new coach.
That’s a subject for a different day, however. For now, Inter’s success is remarkable even before you consider the way Conte finished his previous season with this club.
After the Milan team lost the Europa League final to Sevilla last year, Conte told reporters it was time to “plan the future of Inter, whether it’s with or without me”.
That same season the Italian had finished as runner up behind Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus, while Conte was reported to have fallen out with club insiders. The former Chelsea coach continually complained he didn’t have enough players to sustain a challenge.
It hardly looked like the ideal foundation for this campaign’s success. But Inter have been imperious for much of this season, losing just twice in the league – to Sampdoria, and city rivals AC Milan.
Few can claim to have been more influential for this side than Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker has 21 goals in Serie A this season, but Lukaku has also assisted 10 goals – more than any other player in the league.
In starring for Milan, Lukaku has also earned his own first club trophy in close to a decade – his last trophy was the FA Cup with Chelsea in 2012.
As for Inter, this is the 19th time the club have won the Italian top fight title, putting them one clear of their rivals AC Milan – an achievement that sees them become the second most successful club in the history of Serie A. Juventus are the record winners, with 36 titles.
Last time Inter won the scudetto was in 2010, back when Jose Mourinho managed the team. Soon afterwards Conte would make a name for himself at Juventus, guiding the club to league success in his first season.
Now, as Conte himself points out, he has overcome the side whose dominance he initiated, “overthrowing a kingdom” as he put it during one interview at the weekend. So can Inter build on their own breakthrough, to create their own era of success over the coming seasons?
Conte is yet to win the Champions League as a coach; could that be Inter’s next adventure? Famed for his man-management and motivational skills, if anyone can steer the Italian club to the pinnacle of European club glory, Conte could be the man to do it…
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