Where Are They Now? Inter's 2010 Champions League Winners

The Nerazzurri return to the final after 13 years
07:00, 07 Jun 2023

It was the greatest moment in Inter Milan’s modern history. Jose Mourinho had just led them to an unprecedented treble thanks to a 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

Yet Mourinho’s immediate departure led to a decline in fortunes for the San Siro outfit and many of the players were soon heading their separate ways. So as Inter prepare for their return to European football’s big night, it’s worth a look at what happened to the 2010 iteration following that magical evening.

Julio Cesar

Now an agent and after-dinner speaker, Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar’s career peak was on that night at the Bernabeu. After two more years with Inter, he left for Queens Park Rangers (No, we’re still not sure how that happened) before spells with Toronto FC, Benfica and Flamengo rounded out a 673-game career. Conceded seven in THAT World Cup semi-final against Germany.

Douglas Maicon

Known for being a party animal, Maicon had plenty to celebrate in 2010. But by the time he left Inter for Manchester City in 2012 he was a shadow of himself, and even in a subsequent spell with Roma he couldn’t arrest his slide. Finally retired last month at the age of 41 having bounced around the lower leagues in Brazil and Italy and even played for San Marino side Tre Penne in the Europa Conference League. Also ‘starred’ for Brazil in the 7-1 semi-final shellacking by Germany.


One of the key signings ahead of Inter’s treble year, he left in 2012 to join Juventus, which is never popular. He was a rarely-used bit part in Turin, though, and returned to his native Brazil to play on for six more years before retiring in January 2020.

Walter Samuel

‘The Wall’. Samuel was 32 when he became a European champion with Inter, and he would play for another four years with the Nerazzurri before finishing off his career with a couple of years with Swiss Super League side Basel. He’s been Argentina assistant coach since 2019, winning the World Cup with his home nation alongside head coach Lionel Scaloni in Qatar last December.

Cristian Chivu

Part of a transfer battle between Barcelona and Real Madrid which finished up with Inter stealing in to take him to San Siro, Chivu was one of the unsung heroes of 2010. Went on to play four more years with the Nerazzurri before announcing his retirement, and he has been Inter’s primavera (under-19s) head coach since 2021.

Javier Zanetti

Mr Inter. He tallied in excess of 1000 career senior games – the 14th-most in football history – including 858 in Inter colours, but never did he look so delighted as on that night in Madrid when he lifted aloft the European Cup. After retiring in 2014 he became an Inter director, and remains the club’s vice-president to this day. His number four was retired by the Beneamata after he finished playing.

Esteban Cambiasso

Somehow allowed to leave Real Madrid for Inter in 2004, he became a constant in the Beneamata’s midfield for a decade. Left for Leicester City but turned down an extension to stay at the club in what turned out to be their Premier League-winning campaign, heading instead for Olympiacos where he won two Super League crowns and then retired from the game. The Argentine is now a regular pundit on Italian TV.

Wesley Sneijder

The key attacking pivot in the European success of 2010, Sneijder never had the run of fitness he needed thereafter and struggled to replicate his form during the last two-and-a-half years of his Inter spell. Spent time with Galatasaray, Nice and Al-Gharafa before his 2019 retirement but appeared among Inter ultras at San Siro to watch the Champions League semi-final second leg against rivals Milan last month along with former team-mate Marco Materazzi… more on him later.

Samuel Eto’o

An ace marksman turned into a virtual wing-back by Jose Mourinho for the 2009-10 campaign, Eto’o insisted on being re-deployed as a striker under Rafa Benitez the following season. He scored a career-high 37 goals that term but Inter were on the slide and he headed to Anzhi Makhachkala in a big-money move that summer. Subsequently played for Chelsea, Everton, Sampdoria, Antalyaspor – who he briefly managed, Konyaspor and Qatar SC. Now the Cameroon FA president, he was in the news at the Qatar World Cup for attacking a belligerent cameraman outside a stadium in Doha.

Diego Milito

He scored the winner in the Coppa Italia final, the winner in the title decider and both goals in the Champions League final. Is there any wonder Milito was a virtual deity in Milan after 2010? He spent four more years at San Siro before returning to his boyhood side Racing Club in Argentina, and these days he can regularly be found commenting on the exploits of the Nerazzurri.

Goran Pandev

Didn’t get the credit he deserved for his role in the Inter side after joining midway through the treble season from Lazio, with whom he’d had a long-standing dispute. The Macedonian legend went on to play for Napoli, Galatasaray, Genoa and Parma, and memorably netted his nation's first ever goal at a major finals tournament in the delayed Euro 2020 competition against Austria at the age of almost 38.

Sulley Muntari

A nomadic existence awaited Sulley Muntari after he collected his winner’s medal in 2010, with a loan move to Sunderland not going entirely to plan before he headed for Inter’s neighbours AC Milan. Never truly liked by Milanisti, he had a memorable goal against Juventus ruled out despite it easily clearing the line and the Turin side went on to pip the Rossoneri to the title. Later appeared for teams including Pescara, Deportivo La Coruna and latterly Hearts of Oak in his native Ghana after three years out of the game.

Dejan Stankovic

A forceful midfield presence, Stankovic spent nine years with Inter before retiring in 2013 after 647 club games, more than half of them with the Beneamata. Went on to manage Red Star Belgrade to three Super League titles and two domestic cups before taking Sampdoria down from Serie A this season. He quit the Blucerchiati on Sunday, calling the job a “suicide mission”.

Marco Materazzi

Came off the bench in injury time to help see out the win, but following his infamous embrace with Jose Mourinho after the game he got on with neither Rafa Benitez nor Leonardo the following season and retired from the sport. He was back in 2014 as player-manager of Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League, playing seven games as a 41-year-old.


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