In an interview with Italian newspaper Libero, which appeared in today’s print edition, former Inter director Marco Branca spoke on a range of different Inter related topics and started by recalling Inter’s Champions League win in the 2009/10 season which formed a third of the club’s famous treble win.

“I remember it perfectly, there was an atmosphere of great security. We knocked Barcelona out in the semi finals and had just won the Coppa Italia in Rome against Roma and had won the Scudetto too. We were ready to face and overcome anything unexpected, mentally we presented ourselves as winners.”

He then went on reveal how the Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o swap deal came to fruition.

“To play at Inter you have to be 100% happy and Zlatan told us that he no longer had the necessary serenity. He is a boy of great character, witty, very correct, we listened to him and looked for the ideal solution for both parties.

“Barcelona was a great attraction for him and the deal materialised very quickly because we had been following Eto’o for a long time. For two years we had been building a relationship with his agent.”

He then spoke on the role that Inter manager Jose Mourinho played in convincing the player to arrive at Inter.

“It was thanks to Mourinho that I convinced Eto’o. In the end we sold Ibra for Eto’o plus €50 million. It is too bad that Zlatan got on badly with Guardiola at Barcelona and I am sorry for this.”

He was then asked about the ongoing media speculation surrounding the future of Lautaro Martinez, who continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona.

“I have read that Lionel Messi has specifically asked for him, but I don’t know the situation so I can’t express myself.”

Branca then went on to confirm that the Nerazzurri tried to make an attempt to sign Messi back in the Summer of 2008.

“It’s true, we moved discreetly, but Leo didn’t want to leave because he was very grateful to a club that signed him as a child and believed in him so much and helped him overcome those health problems he had.”

Branca then went on to discuss Wesley Sneijder who was pivotal in Inter’s treble winning success and even revealed that the Dutchman was not specifically asked for by Jose Mourinho.

“I knew he was the perfect play maker to complete us. We finalised a deal at three in the morning on August 26. We presented him on the 28th and he took to the field in the derby on the 29th. He played a wonderful game.

“Was he on Mourinho’s wishlist? No, because he never gave us any lists, he just asked us to sign Ricardo Carvalho and Deco, who he had won the UEFA Cup and Champions League with at Porto.

“We, the club management, then veered toward signing Lucio and Sneijder because Jose had not placed any type of diktat.”

In conclusion, he wished Inter’s current owners all the best in their bid to take Inter back to the top of the world.

“The most difficult thing for them is to understand how Italian football works as they come from another lifestyle but I wish them and the club the best.”