The return
of the old flame

Hernan Crespo SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.74 / 110

Hernán Crespo shed tears when he had to leave Inter for Chelsea back in the summer of 2003. His stint at the club had lasted one season, although this was enough time to see him fall in love with the Nerazzurri shirt. One could not know that, three years and many goals later, that he would be wearing that same shirt once again, finally achieving his dream. Crespo’s first spell at Inter began during the final days of the 2002 summer transfer window, with the club searching for a viable replacement to Ronaldo, who’d just been sold to Real Madrid. The Argentinian attacker, who had scored for fun at Lazio, certainly seemed to fit the bill. Hernán duly took the No.9 shirt and began to enter the hearts of Nerazzurri supporters, playing every match with South American spirit matched with the skill of a world-class striker.

It was hard as I didn’t want to leave Inter. I left Pinetina that day in tears because I was upset.

The Curva fell for him immediately and it did not take long for him to start bagging his first few goals, particularly in Europe. During the Champions League group stage he scored seven in six matches. El ‘Valdanito’ and Christian Vieri struck up a perfect partnership and formed one of the most feared and admired pairings in the league. Crespo left Pinetina at the end of the year, although it was not a firm farewell. His path would soon cross with Inter once again, although this time while wearing the wrong colours in the city of Milan.

However, the Nerazzurri shirt ultimately proved irresistible for the striker, with Hernán returning to the club in 2006 (this wearing No.18) and playing as if he had never left. He scored on the day of his second debut in the Supercoppa, before then getting himself on the scoresheet in the league as well. His goals no doubt helped lift Inter, as he scored against both Milan and Roma, who were the club’s Scudetto rivals. His second spell at Inter was full of both personal and team success. Previously, he had never secured a league title in Italy, however, this time he picked up three, all inspired by his decisive goals. His wishes came true and he successfully put right unfinished business from the past.

Hernan Crespo

Hernán Jorge Crespo (Florida, 5th July 1975) joined Inter from Lazio back in 2002 for €36 million. He made 177 appearances for the Nerazzurri and scored 46 goals, winning three Scudetti and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. He is considered to be one of the best strikers of his generation, also featuring for River Plate, Parma, Chelsea, Milan and Genoa during his career. He is the third high-est goalscorer for the Argentina National Team, playing 64 matches for them and scoring 35 goals. He also took part in three World Cups.