The Decade of the Nerazzurri
There have been great streaks of dominance in the world of Italian calcio; Juventus in the 1930's, Torino in the 1940's, Juventus again in the 1970's, and AC Milan in the 1990's, but perhaps the greatest era of dominance in the history of Serie A is now upon us; the Decade of the Nerazzurri.
Over the last 10 seasons, Inter Milan have won an incredible 8 Scudetto trophies. 5 of those came in a row before they were interrupted by AC Milan and Juventus, but since the appointment of Giuseppe Bergomi in 2012 Inter have won another 3 straight. This incredible record has been mainly down to the fantastic managers that have plied their trade in the blue and black half of Milan.
Roberto Mancini began the Inter decade when he took over in 2004. His first season in charge, Juventus won the Scudetto, but the title was rescinded due to the Calciopoli scandal. He did, however, manage to win the Coppa Italia, and he never looked back from there. The following seasons, Mancini won titles all the way until the 2007-2008 season, a fantastic 3 straight Serie A titles. He was fired at the end of that very season, however, due to poor showings in European competition, and was replaced by ex-Chelsea man Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho spent 2 seasons at the Nerazzurri, and his first made him an instant hit, winning now a 4th straight Scudetto by 10 points over rivals AC Milan. He introduced youth players like Mario Balotelli and Davide Santon to the first team, creating an Italian base to a largely foreign side. His second season, however, will always be remembered as his best. He helped Inter not only to a record tying 5th straight Scudetto but led the Nerazzurri to the treble, also winning the Coppa Italia and triumphing in the UEFA Champions League final over Bayern.
Mourinho, however, resigned and left to join Real Madrid, and Inter could not recover. They blew through a massive 5 managers over the next 2 seasons, including Rafa Benitez, Leonardo, Gianpiero Gasperini, Claudio Ranieri, and Andrea Stramaccioni. Many believed Inter's golden era of dominating Serie A to be over. However, before the 2012-2013 season, after Stramaccioni's shock resignation, club legend Giuseppe Bergomi was appointed.
El Zio, as he is affectionately known, quickly made a statement with Inter in the 2012-2013 season, winning a famous treble of the Europa League, Coppa Italia, and Inter's 6th Scudetto in 8 seasons in a 100% undefeated season, setting a new points record in the process. He also won the next Serie A with ease, again undefeated, and then the next season's, losing only once to AC Milan. This trio of Scudetto took Inter's total to 21, second only to Juventus, and the magnificent record of 8 wins in 10 years.
This Era of the Nerazzurri, as it is being called by fans, is by far the greatest accomplishment in the history of Italian domestic football. The question now lingers: How long can they keep it up? No team can continue to dominate a league of the caliber of Serie A forever, and eventually Inter will fall from power. The question is now, when?