Julio Cruz: “I Chose Inter For Hector Cuper, Unbelievable Joy After Scoring Double At Juventus In 2003”

Julio Cruz: “I Chose Inter For Hector Cuper, Unbelievable Joy After Scoring Double At Juventus In 2003”
March 20, 2021 12:00
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Inter’s former striker Julio Cruz has lifted the lid on some of his favourite moments and memories from his spell with the Nerazzurri.

Cruz joined Inter from Bologna in 2003 and enjoyed a glorious six-year stint with the Nerazzurri, scoring 75 goals and providing 19 assists in all competitions.

El Jardinero won four Serie A titles at San Siro, as well as three Supercoppa Italianas and two Coppa Italia trophies.

Asked for his best memory from playing at Inter, in an interview with Il Posticipo on Friday, Cruz responded:  “There are two which come to mind.

“One was when we won away to Juventus 3-1 (in Serie A in November 2003), I scored twice.

“It was a game that everyone had been dreaming of for a long time, Inter hadn’t won in Turin for eleven years and that day I felt an unbelievable joy.

“I also remember when we won the first Coppa Italia with Roberto Mancini (in 2005).

“Inter hadn’t won for many years, seeing the San Siro full that day was fantastic.”

The former Argentine national team player went on to explain why he ended up choosing Inter over other interested clubs when he joined the Nerazzurri in the summer of 2003.

“When I learned that Inter wanted me, everyone told me to look for a different team,” he recalled.

“At Bologna I had done well and a lot of teams wanted me.

“I chose Inter because Hector Cuper was there.

“On May 5, 2002 I saw Lazio-Inter, the Nerazzurri had lost the Scudetto on the last day in a very strange way, I didn’t want to believe it.

“I wanted to go to Inter to do something good.

“I felt that winning there would be special.

“Unfortunately after my arrival Cuper left, but I knew I was at the right team.

“Inter were lacking a bit of luck, there were good players who hadn’t won anything for many years.”

Cruz wore the number nine jersey during his stint at Inter and he was asked if he ever felt the pressure of wearing such a historic number for the club.

“I never thought about it because a player knows what he wants and what he can give,” he replied.

“I wanted to play and I tried to make the most of the space I was given.

“I tried to do well every time I played.”

Cruz also shared his thoughts on the infamous Calciopoli scandal which rocked Italian football back in 2006, with Juventus stripped of two Serie A titles (one of which was awarded to Inter) and relegated to Serie B as a result.

“It was a dark page of Italian football history,” he added.

“Many thought there was something wrong, but no one was sure until everything came out.

“Those who made mistakes paid for them and rightly so.”

By Cammy Anderson
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