Inter's 2010 Champions League side: Where are they now?

Internazionale's memorable route Champions League glory in 2010 included victories over Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich as Jose Mourinho's experienced outfit found a way past the very best. But a little over four years on, none of the 18-man squad remain. So where are they now?

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Some have retired, others are back in South America. One has even found his way to the Indian Super League, while another has opted for the less exotic climes of Leicester. Here we remember Inter's Champions League winning squad from 2010...

Julio Cesar – Benfica

Julio Cesar QPR 2013
Image: Julio Cesar: Not at Benfica

Then: Julio Cesar enjoyed a superb season for Inter, being named as Serie A and UEFA goalkeeper of the year for his performances. He was an ever present in the league and also played all 13 Champions League games for the Nerazzurri in 2009/10.

Now: The Brazil No.1 left Inter for Queens Park Rangers in 2012 but could not help the team stay in the Premier League despite some quality displays. A loan spell in Toronto followed before securing a two-year deal at Benfica earlier this summer.

Maicon – Roma

Image: Maicon: Roma renaissance

Then: Maicon was named UEFA defender of the year in 2010 and was also included in the Dream Team for that summer’s World Cup. The Brazilian right-back played 51 times for Inter in their treble-winning season, scoring seven goals.

Now: Maicon left Inter for Manchester City in 2012 and had a quiet time of it as back-up to Pablo Zabaleta in his only season in England. After an impressive return to form with Roma last year, the 33-year-old is now back in the Champions League.

Lucio – Palmeiras

Lucio of Inter Milan celebrates his team victory at the end of the UEFA Champions League Final match between FC Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in 2010
Image: Lucio: Celebrations in 2010

Then: The 2009/10 season was the first in Italy for the rangy centre-back after spending almost a decade in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. He had a tremendous impact at the San Siro, being named in World Soccer’s team of the year.

Now: Lucio was yet another to leave Inter in 2012, signing a two-year contract at Juventus. However, his time there was short-lived as returned to Brazil that December with Sao Paulo. Now 36, he continues to play in his homeland with Palmeiras.

Walter Samuel – Basel

Image: Walter Samuel: In Switzerland

Then: Samuel put behind him the frustration of several injury-hit seasons to star in Inter’s 2009/10 campaign. The experienced centre-back played in all of the club’s Champions League fixtures and was also named Serie A defender of the year.

Now: The Argentine defender finally left Inter in the summer after making almost 300 Serie A appearances. He is still playing Champions League football at the age of 36 with Swiss side FC Basel and featured against former club Real Madrid on Matchday 1.

Cristian Chivu – retired

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben and Inter Milan's Cristian Chivu vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final in 2010
Image: Cristian Chivu: Marking job

Then: The adaptable Romanian defender was charged with shackling Arjen Robben in Madrid and did his job manfully before being withdrawn midway through the second half. Chivu had also been at his dogged best in the semi-final away to Barcelona after being drafted in as a late replacement.

Now: Chivu continued to play the club for three more seasons, eventually clocking up a decade in Serie A – four with Roma, six with Inter – but was inactive for the 2013/14 season with a foot injury and decided to retire from the game in March.

Javier Zanetti – retired

Image: Javier Zanetti: Retired icon

Then: Inter’s iconic captain that night in Madrid finally got his hands on European club football’s greatest prize after 15 seasons with the Nerazzurri. The game itself showcased Zanetti’s trademark versatility: he started as a holding midfielder but switched to left-back late on.

Now: Despite already being 36 when he lifted the trophy, Zanetti continued to captain Inter for four more seasons before retiring in the summer at the age of 40 having made more than 850 appearances for the club. His famous No.4 jersey has since been retired too.

Esteban Cambiasso – Leicester

ESTEBAN CAMBIASSO: Many may consider the 33-year-old as 'past-it', but he'd add experience and solidity to the Spurs midfield at a next-to-nothing price
Image: Esteban Cambiasso: Leicester hero

Then: After previously winning trophies with River Plate and Real Madrid, Cambiasso was in his sixth season at the San Siro when he picked up his Champions League winners’ medal. The left-footed midfielder made 47 appearances for Inter in their treble-winning campaign.

Now: Cambiasso, now 34, made a further 165 appearances for Inter in the following four seasons before embarking on a new challenge in the Premier League with newly-promoted Leicester City. He marked his home debut for the club with the equaliser in their 5-3 win over Manchester United.

Wesley Sneijder – Galatasaray

Image: Wesley Sneijder: With Galatasaray

Then: Sneijder provided the pass for the breakthrough goal on the night of Inter’s Champions League triumph and was the man who made the side tick. The playmaker was voted the fans’ man of the match for his efforts against Bayern and later starred in that year’s World Cup.

Now: The youngest player in the Inter starting line-up, Sneijder nevertheless found himself out of favour at the San Siro by the summer of 2012 having just turned 28. He is now in his third season in the Turkish Super League with Galatasaray.

Samuel Eto’o – Everton

Image: Samuel Eto'o: Moved to Everton

Then: The 2009/10 season was Eto’o’s first with Inter after being the makeweight in the move that took Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona. He had the last laugh, sacrificing himself on the right wing and even assisting the second goal in the final, as he won the Champions League for a third time.

Now: Eto’o enjoyed a second season with Inter before making a money-spinning move to Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011. In 2013 there was a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea before he made a free transfer switch to Everton in the summer.

Diego Milito – Racing

Image: Diego Milito: Back in Argentina

Then: The star of the show, Milito scored both goals on the night to secure the trophy for Inter. It capped a magnificent debut season there for the Argentine striker in which he scored 30 goals for the club and was named both Serie A and UEFA player of the year.

Now: Milito eventually scored 75 goals in his five seasons at Inter before exiting the club when his contract ended in the summer. He has since made a return to Racing Club in Argentina, the team with which he started his  professional career.

Goran Pandev – Galatasaray

NAPLES, ITALY - MAY 06:  Goran Pandev of Napoli in action during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Cagliari Calcio at Stadio San Paolo on May 6, 201
Image: Goran Pandev: Playing in Turkey

Then: The 2009/10 season was particularly dramatic for Pandev. The Macedonian found himself frozen out at Lazio following a contract dispute but was picked up by Inter in the January transfer window and capped the campaign in style by playing his part in the Champions League win.

Now: Pandev played just one more season for Inter before spending each of the next three years with Napoli, twice winning the Coppa Italia. In September he ended his 13-year stay in Italy for a fresh challenge alongside old team-mate Sneijder at Galatasaray.

But the season ended in glory for Inter and Balotelli. The Italian played eight times in Inter's successful CL run in 2009/10, helping lift the trophy.
Image: Mario Balotelli: With the trophy

Substitutes

2010 Champions League Final

There was plenty of experience among the substitutes that night in Madrid with the quartet of Francesco Toldo, Ivan Cordoba, Dejan Stankovic and Marco Materazzi making more than 1000 appearances for the club between them.

All four subsequently retired from the game once their time at Inter was up, although Materazzi recently signed up to play for Indian Super League side FC Chennaiyin at the age of 41.

McDonald Mariga and Sulley Muntari both remain in Serie A with Parma and AC Milan respectively, while the youngest member of the squad – Mario Balotelli – transferred to Manchester City that summer and is currently in England with Liverpool.

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