Every child in the 1990s used to repeatedly ask their dad or grandfather to tell them the tale of the “Scudetto dei record”. The record-breaking 1988-89 campaign, when the Nerazzurri secured the Serie A title with a landmark points tally. This significant success was largely inspired by Giovanni Trapattoni from Cusano Milanino. Trapattoni had joined Inter two years before, with then chairman Ernesto Pellegrini only having one objective in mind – to make Inter the Italian champions once again. However, the task wasn’t easy, particularly due to the tough competition. There were Maradona’s Napoli, Sacchi’s AC Milan, Baggio’s Fiorentina and also a Sampdoria side led by Mancini and Vialli. Moreover, Trapattoni’s first two seasons at Inter were not too successful, with the team finishing third and fifth respectively. Nevertheless, the legendary masterpiece was just taking shape, as the Nerazzurri signed great players like Bianchi, Berti, Matthaus, Brehme and Diaz all in the summer of 1988.
The foundations were duly laid for an extremely successful team, with Inter soon winning on a weekly basis. Their only shock came against Fiorentina on matchday 17, as the Viola won 4-3 to ensure that Napoli only trailed Inter by a point. However, after that defeat, Trapattoni’s team got back on track and amazingly picked up 11 wins from their next 13 games. They ultimately secured the Scudetto at the San Siro against Maradona’s Napoli. Thanks to that win the Nerazzurri won the league title with still five games left to play. Trapattoni impressed everyone. He also got something off his chest too, in striking back against those who once accused him of being too defensively minded. “I don’t like labels. Especially ones that concern me… That absurd story calling me out as a defensive minded coach. My teams have always scored more than the others.”
His Inter team actually did have the best defence in the league, but also the best attack, and by far. That Inter team led in every way. They secured 58 points from a possible 68 and also destroyed their opponents, as noted in headline from La Gazzetta dello Sport published on the day of their title triumph. With four league matches still remaining, Trapattoni’s Inter had already become legends.