Serie A

Inter retain title in season marked by tragedy - Serie A in 2007-08

 
11:00am on Sunday 5th April 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Juventus returned to Serie A after a one-year absence following their Calciopoli-related relegation but despite boasting the brilliant striking partnership of Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet, they were unable to prevent Inter from successfully defending their Scudetto.

Roma did take the title race right to the wire, though, with Mirko Vucinic and Mancini proving most worthy foils for captain Francesco Totti. However, the Giallorossi finished as runners-up for the second consecutive season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was undoubtedly Inter’s star man but he was wonderfully well supported in attack by Julio Cruz. In addition, Esteban Cambiasso was a rock in midfield, while Maicon and Maxwell provided excellent width from the full-back berths. However, it was captain Javier Zanetti who led by example, the only player to appear in each and every Serie A game for the title-winners.

Unfortunately, the 2007-08 campaign was overshadowed the tragic death of Gabriele Sandri, a 26-year-old Lazio fan who was accidentally shot by a policeman following clashes between supporters of the Biancocelesti and Juventus on November 11, 2007.

CHANGES

Champions Inter strengthened their squad and weakened Roma's by acquiring Christian Chivu for €16m. David Suazo also arrived from Cagliari as Alvaro Recoba departed for Torino.

Elsewhere, Roma replaced Chivu with Bayern Leverkusen's Juan, as well as bringing in another Brazilian in Cicinho, and Barcelona winger Ludovic Giuly.

AC Milan cut their losses on Ricardo Oliveira and snapped up Internacional's Alexandre Pato but, due to bureaucratic issues, they were unable to field the Brazilian striking sensation until January. He proved worth the wait, though.

After losing the prolific Luca Toni to Bayern Munich, Fiorentina bought Pablo Osvaldo and Christian Vieri, while newly promoted Napoli made one of the most important signings in the club's history in prising Marek Hamsik away from Brescia.

As for newly-promoted Juventus, Claudio Ranieri succeeded Didier Deschamps at the helm and oversaw the acquisitions of Hasan Salihamidzic, Tiago Mendes and Vincenzo Iaquinta.

SEASON SUMMARY

Milan opened their campaign with an impressive 3-0 victory at Genoa but they then failed to win any of their next five games, which only served to underline that despite being champions of Europe - and in possession of an in-form Kaka - Carlo Ancelotti’s men did not have the requisite consistency to challenge for the Scudetto.

Juventus, though, looked as if they had never been away, with Del Piero and Trezeguet firing the Old Lady to a surprise third-placed finish by scoring 41 goals between them (21 and 20, respectively).

Fiorentina, meanwhile, continued their impressive progression under Cesare Prandelli. The Viola went from potential Scudetto challengers to very nearly missing out on a Champions League place by losing five of their 10 games between March 9 and May 4 but they won their last two, against Parma and Torino, to pip Milan to fourth place.

Serie A Player of the Year, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

As a result, only Roma put the pressure on Inter when the Nerazzurri suffered a sudden dip in form on the home straight. Mancini’s men had gone unbeaten until losing 1-0 at Napoli on March 2, building up an 11-point lead in the process.

However, further losses to Juve and Milan, plus a surprise draw at home to Siena on the penultimate weekend of the season, allowed Roma to draw to within a point.

However, there was to be no 2002-like collapse, with Ibrahimovic bagging both goals in a 2-0 win at Parma on the final day to render the Giallorossi’s 1-1 draw at Catania purely academic.

AWARDS

PLAYER OF THE SEASON

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC

Inter’s season threatened to collapse after the Swedish striker suffered a knee injury on March 29 but he returned just in time to score his 16th and 17th goals of the Serie A season in the final-day win at Parma to seal the Scudetto.

MANAGER OF THE SEASON

CESARE PRANDELLI

The Viola coach continued to work wonders at the Artemio Franchi, leading Fiorentina back into the Champions League for the first time in eight years.

TOP GOALSCORER

ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO - 21 GOALS

Having already cemented his status as Juventus legend by remaining in Turin in spite of the club’s demotion to Serie B in 2006, the iconic No.10 then claimed the Capocannoniere award for the first time in his career.

GOAL OF THE SEASON

Despite stiff competition from Pablo Osvaldo and his superb overhead kick, RICCARDO ZAMPAGNA collected the award for his improvised flick, which earned Atalanta a late point at Fiorentina.

MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFER

Alexandre Pato

Internacional to MILAN

€22m

KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON

With 50 minutes gone at the Stadio Tardini, Inter were still being held by Parma while Roma were a goal up at Catania, meaning the Scudetto was bound for the capital. Enter Zlatan.

Just 10 minutes after coming off the bench in what was his first appearance since suffering a knee injury six weeks previously, Ibrahimovic took a pass from Dejan Stankovic and beat a player in the same movement, before advancing forward to fire the ball low into the bottom corner of the Parma goal. Cue pandemonium.

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