MILAN – “Inter Calling”, the new Inter TV series that will host a couple of Nerazzurri legends each week, starts today. It’ll be like entering a time machine for all fans where you can relive important moments in the Club’s history through the voices of the protagonists on the pitch.
The guests of today’s episode were Riccardo Ferri and Massimo Paganin, who were teammates in the 1993/94 season for the Nerazzurri, which ended in the UEFA Cup triumph:
Paganin: “In the ‘93/94 season, we won the UEFA Cup, but when I arrived my first though was ‘What am I doing here?’, because there were some top players there: Zenga, Bergomi, Ferri, and Bergkamp has just arrived. For me, that moment, together with the goal I scored in The Derby, is one of the best: winning the cup at the end of a difficult journey, having beaten some great teams. The brilliance of that team lay in those massive cup ties, even though we didn’t do that well in the league.”
Ferri: “I remember Marini coaching us, and he wanted me to start in the final, but I knew I wasn’t 100% fit, so I told him it was better not to. That was a brave decision that I made for the good of the team, the good of Inter. I came off the bench and at the end of the match I remember crying, that’s where my story at Inter ended, after 13 years in Serie A and another five in the youth academy, taking off that shirt wasn’t easy. One of the best moments was winning the record-winning Scudetto title, when we celebrated by throwing Trapattoni into the air.”
Over the years, the images of events on the pitch have become a way of reliving great feelings with a different perspective:
Ferri: “I’ve recorded all the most important matches and when I get a bit nostalgic, I re-watch them. I’m very self-critical: I tell myself that on certain occasions I could’ve done better, but at the same time I realise the importance of other situations, such as goals that were a complete blur to me at the time.”
Paganin: “I’ve also been critical about games I re-watch with a different perspective. Today, technology helps a lot when it comes to this, there’s the possibility to review things and to study opponents, whereas before you used to study the other team in the opening minutes of the game, it was different. For a footballer, or any sportsman, being able to control your emotions is crucial, and sometimes in big games your concentration is so much that you forget everything else.”
What if you could change something, replay a few games?
Ferri: “The Champions League match against Malmo is one of those games I’d loved to replay, because there were several mistakes we could’ve avoided, and we had the potential to be so much better. I often dream about reliving the World Cup period, and I’d play the semi-final against Argentina; there was a lot of expectation on us because we’d come from a European Championship where we’d made it to the semis. We had a pragmatic but balanced side and the feelings I experienced in Rome will stay with me forever, I remember that there were thousands of people there to watch us in training.”
Paganin: “For me, I’d replay the final against Schalke in ’97: I’d love to play that one again, where we deserved to win in a packed stadium. I think the things that stay with you the most are those times that didn’t go so well, they leave a mark but also help you grow as a man and a footballer. A football match is unique and unrepeatable, and that’s what creates those feelings. We were lucky to experience certain emotions and to be part of this Club’s incredible history.”