In an interview with Inter’s official club broadcaster Inter TV, legendary defender Ivan Cordoba spoke on a range of topics and firstly praised former manager Hector Cuper for the part he played in Inter going on to be so successful in the 2000s.
“When I arrived at Inter there were a lot of changes. Under Hector Cuper we started to create something different and aim for important objectives. The foundations were laid for the Inter side that would go on to win continuously,” he explained.
He then went on sing the praises of former teammate Juan Sebastian Veron and winning the Italian super cup in 2005.
“Every time I think of him I remember that goal in Turin against Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana, our second important trophy after winning the Coppa Italia. By winning that cup we told ourselves that we had to keep winning and that Supercoppa Italiana game was crazy.”
He then spoke on some of the fine free kick takers that what were at Inter alongside him and discussed the importance of competition in training.
“With Verona, Recoba and Mihajlovic, we had to score. Veron for us defenders was a point of reference because as soon as we recovered the ball he showed up and started to dictate the game.
“The strong character of the players who always want to win makes the difference. Being competitive even in training is useful for the team to be always ready to win together even in the game, because everyone always fights.”
He then went on to discuss his jumping ability which was especially impressive for a defender who is only five foot and eight inches tall.
“It is a natural gift that I improved. As a child I was always on the street playing and always jumping, when I started training they understood my predisposition and my first manager began to give me specific exercises such as hanging a ball high and trying to hit it with my head. Another thing that helped me was the work on the ankles, I was doing a lot of repetitions of strength that helped me increase the power.”
The former Colombian international then reflected on the first trophy which he won with Inter, the Coppa Italia in the 2004/05 season.
“Many matches have a special meaning, for me the first Coppa Italia win means so much because we took a weight off our shoulders and from there on we understood that we could win again. We celebrated as if we had won the Champions League.”
In conclusion he spoke on Inter’s famous Champions League semi-final loss to Barcelona which happened just over 10 years ago.
Inter lost the match 1-0 but with thanks to a 3-1 victory in the first leg at San Siro, Inter progressed to the final with a 3-2 aggregate scoreline and then went on to win the Champions League.
“Barcelona-Inter seemed like an endless game, since Thiago Motta was sent off and that match lasted a day It was difficult, but at the final whistle it was all beautiful, these are moments that remain forever in your memory. It had to be like this, those semi finals made us even stronger, in those games it is true that small details make the difference.”