A victory for football fans over the power of the boardroom? Perhaps not.
Inter Milan have won the Serie A title for the first time in 11 years to end Juventus’s nine-year reign in Italy.
Antonio Conte’s side clinched their 19th “Scudetto” on Sunday after nearest rivals Atalanta drew 1-1 at Sassuolo to leave the “Nerazzurri” 13 points clear with four games remaining.
Conte who started Juventus’s record run – winning the first three titles in a streak that stretched from 2012 to 2020 – took over Inter in 2019 and lifted the trophy after finishing second last season.
“I’m astonished,” said Conte.
“We’re breaking up a dynasty. Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we’d make up this much ground on the team that dominated Serie A for nine years in the space of two seasons.”
Inter are now second for league trophies in Italy, one ahead of city rivals AC Milan’s 18, but still some way short of Juventus’s 36.
‘Champions of Italy’
The city of Milan erupted into a cacophony of car horns after the final whistle confirmed Inter as champions, with four matches to spare, and fans immediately started gathering in the main square in front of the cathedral to celebrate.
Thousands of Nerazzurri fans congregated in Piazza Duomo, with flags and scarves, chanting and singing as they jumped and clapped with little heed to coronavirus restrictions. Almost all wore masks but many were pulled down below their chins.
“We are, yes, we are. Champions of Italy. We can finally scream it, after dreaming of it, after keeping it hidden in the depths of our hearts, after holding on to it like a precious dream that we did not want to waste,” read a lengthy statement on the Inter website.
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli congratulated his Inter counterpart Steven Zhang on the Chinese-owned club’s success.
“Well done Steven! Happy for you and proud of being your loyal opponent on the pitch and friend off the pitch. We’ll be back,” Agnelli wrote on Twitter.
The Lombardy side had not won Serie A since Jose Mourinho’s historic Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia treble in 2010.
Their last trophy was the Coppa Italia in 2011 and they missed out on the Champions League for six seasons before Luciano Spalletti returned them to Europe’s top club competition in 2018.
Conte is the 13th coach since Mourinho to sit on the Nerazzurri bench and the club has changed hands twice over the past decade.
Billionaire Massimo Moratti, whose family controls Italian oil refiner Saras Group, sold to a consortium led by Indonesian business tycoon Erik Thohir in 2013, with Chinese electronics retailer Suning Holdings Group taking a majority stake in 2016.
It is the first time that a foreign-owned Italian team has won the league title.