Italian Cup, a final for the presidents

Updated: 28 May 2011 11:00 IST

The Italian Cup final between deposed champions Inter Milan and Palermo on Sunday could have been overshadowed by the Champions League trophy clash in London the day before, but two presidents are ensuring no one forgets about it.

Italian Cup, a final for the presidents

Rome:

The Italian Cup final between deposed champions Inter Milan and Palermo on Sunday could have been overshadowed by the Champions League trophy clash in London the day before, but two presidents are ensuring no one forgets about it.


Inter's Massimo Moratti and Palermo counterpart Maurizio Zamparini have brought a level of intensity to the build-up that has usually been lacking in this much-maligned competition.

The Italian Cup is slowly increasing in importance but was long regarded with almost disdain in the past.

Few teams ever put out their first choice line-ups but recently that has changed and the competition is growing in prestige.

And that is certainly the way the two presidents are treating it.

Inter have won this competition in three of the last six years and this is the sixth season in seven in which they have reached the final.

More importantly, though, having done the treble last year, Moratti wants to win this competition to have something to show for their efforts this term.

They crashed out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals, humiliated by Schalke 04, and had given up their scudetto crown to AC Milan with two matches still to play.

Winning the Italian Cup would be a consolation of sorts.

And Moratti believes it is important for coach Leonardo to get a trophy under his belt so that he can improve.

"The Cup could be a very important trophy for him (Leonardo), a prize for how quickly he's had to learn in terms of atmosphere, because it's also less easy at Inter than in other places," said Moratti.

"He found himself in a difficult situation and he's done well.

"He wants this, everyone does but it will be a difficult game because Palermo want it 10 times more."

There is an element of truth in what he says as Palermo have never won anything in their history.

This is their third trip to the final and Zamparini is desperate to be the first Palermo president to lift a trophy.

However, he has been trying to play down the importance in the build-up, attempting to take the pressure off the Sicilians.

"It's a great satisfaction just being in the final, even if we lose it will be like winning," he said.

"However, if it so happens that we beat Inter, it would be as if we'd won the league."



Topics : Football Nicolas Andres Burdisso Roma AC Milan Inter Milan
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