Antonio Conte’s Inter side share some similarities with the Nerazzurri’s UEFA Cup-winning team from 1998, according to their former defender Beppe Bergomi.

Gigi Simoni led Inter to a second-placed finish in Serie A that season, finishing close behind Juventus after a campaign fraught with controversy.

They did get their moment in the sun however, defeating Lazio 3-0 in the UEFA Cup Final at the Parc des Princes thanks to a majestic display from Ronaldo (among others).

“There are similarities between the two teams,” Bergomi said in an interview for Thursday’s print edition of Il Giorno.

“Even our team was based on a well-oiled defensive phase.

“Simoni had built the foundations knowing that he had Ronaldo up front, but also Ivan Zamorano, Youri Djorkaeff, Francesco Moriero and Maurizio Ganz.

“We had players who could win games for us.

“We weren’t able to win the league, but we did win the UEFA Cup and we entered into the hearts of the fans.”

Bergomi also sang the praises of his former Nerazzurri teammate ‘Il Fenomeno’ Ronaldo.

“Ronaldo? The strongest player in the world,” he argued.

“He had a speed and technique that no one had.”

Bergomi, who spent the entirety of his career with Inter, then dispelled the widely held idea of what Simoni was like as a coach.

“Simoni was not a tender person in meetings or training, even if he communicated differently outside of those situations,” he revealed.

The 1982 FIFA World Cup winner also shared his belief that the Serie A title race is not already over, despite Inter being nine points clear of second-placed AC Milan with 11 games left.

“There is still a head-to-head match with Juventus to come and in any case, the title race is not yet over,” he said.

In conclusion Bergomi, who holds the record for the second most appearances in Inter history, was asked whether Inter can begin a winning cycle by clinching the Serie A title this season.

“Can Inter begin a winning cycle? There is a lot of competition, so it is difficult,” he added.

“Juventus’ nine years [of dominance] also depended on the fact that Inter and AC Milan weren’t there.”

Inter won’t return to action now until April 3, after tomorrow’s Serie A fixture at home to Sassuolo was postponed following a COVID-19 outbreak in the Nerazzurri’s squad.

Stefan de Vrij, Matias Vecino, Danilo D’Ambrosio and Samir Handanovic have all tested positive for the virus since Tuesday afternoon.