Monday, November 29, 1999

Tearful Mourinho stays silent as Inter complete double

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Inter Milan are so used to winning Serie A titles that immediate celebrations of their fifth scudetto in a row on Sunday were slightly muted, but not as quiet as their coach Jose Mourinho.The Portuguese, with rare tears in his eyes, hugged his players and waved to fans but continued his three-month long boycott of Italian media for Serie A matches.Treble-chasing Inter, who meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on Saturday having sealed the Italian Cup, won 1-0 at Siena to pip AS Roma by two points on the final day of the Serie A season.Mourinho's future is unclear after he said he was unhappy in Italian football and wanted to one day coach in Spain, sparking speculation he could move to Real Madrid for next season.Club president Massimo Moratti said he had no idea what his coach's plans were but wanted to celebrate his club's 18th league title, even if his players lifted the trophy in a somewhat deja-vu manner before really starting to party."Let's hope we can complete the treble now," he told reporters before remarking on the nervous finish where relegated Siena almost equalised and handed the title to Roma."It's always like that with Inter," smiled Moratti, celebrating his 65th birthday.Inter fans unable to reach Siena set off flares and waved giant flags in Milan's main square but again the celebrations were slightly reserved given the big match coming on Saturday."We will celebrate this scudetto tonight, rest tomorrow and then concentrate on another final on Saturday," Inter right back Maicon told Sky.Mourinho may have stayed silent after the game but earlier in the week he had told Reuters about his pride for his team."I love everybody (all the players)," he said. "From the first to the last they give everything. They are great the way they have survived this incredible season playing a match every three days and so many crucial games in the last month."Roma coach Claudio Ranieri, whose side beat Chievo 2-0, was gracious in defeat but hailed his team for going 24 games unbeaten during the season having lost their first two matches and seen boss Luciano Spalletti resign in September."I must thank my players because they have done a truly remarkable thing. We were bottom of the league," he said, aware the club has large debts and transfer activity has been minimal."We have done something incredible. We reopened the race and we fought until the end with all our force."(Additional reporting by Tom Pilcher; Editing by Ed Osmond; To query or comment on this story email
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