Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Jose Mourinho did not disappoint and compelling stuff it was too.As charm offensives go he was pretty irresistible, wooing the massed ranks of press and television crews with an excellent command of Italian and relaxed style of a man sitting at the top table of world football.They had come to hail the new saviour of Italian football and while the local hacks were all deferential in their long-winded questions, the man from the Guardian played the perfect fall-guy.A no-nonsense “are you going to raid Chelsea for players?” was met with a “do you think I am going to answer that?” Adding: “I am not an idiot.”However, to the gasps and hoots of the locals the pay-off line was delivered in local Milanese dialect. “Non sono una pirla.” “Pirla” meaning “idiot” or something a touch stronger.Certainly Mourinho and Inter are nobody’s fools and this was a well choreographed affair.
"You don't seriously think I'm going to answer that, do you?"
Three television channels covered the event live and one of them, Inter Channel, took viewers on a behind-the-scenes build-up.We saw the whirlwind arrival in the blacked-out SUV, meeting his new number two and Richard Gere lookalike Beppe Baresi - brother of Franco - a quick handshake with Ivan Cordoba as the defender went through his rehabilitation from a knee ligament operation and finally the grand entrance.From the moment he plonked himself down, hair perfectly swept to the side, tie loosened, this was a man in control.“I am not going to speak in Portuguese because I want to concentrate on my Italian,” halted one his countrymen in full flow.From that moment the new order was up and running, the 'Special One' tag put to rest once and for all. A nod to the good work by his predecessor – some moody chap who everyone had forgotten already – and then down to business.Any thoughts that Inter would continue a dragnet policy of trawling for whatever players took their fancy was quickly dispelled and the new blueprint is quality rather than quantity.“I only need two or three new signings,” he claimed. A blistering statement of intent which should see a quick return to Chelsea for Frank Lampard and Ricardo Carvalho, maybe even Michael Essen and then over to Barcelona for Deco.He can back up words with actions of course. Finally we can look forward to a dash of colour in Serie A and for all that controlled arrogance you can’t help warming to – well let’s say – the 'Chosen One.'
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