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Mister Inzaghi: A Belated Farewell

It’s a bit belated, but it’s the least I could do to honor a Milan legend like Filippo Inzaghi. After saying goodbye to him as a player three years ago, I don’t even know if I could wax so eloquent this time around. But after two years coaching in the youth sector and this past year coaching the first team, we are parting ways again. Only this time we don’t know if he’ll ever be back. And no one could blame him if he didn’t ever come back after the way he was treated by the club. But it’s impossible for me not to say a proper goodbye to the man who gave everything he had to Milan, even if in the end it wasn’t enough. So for you, Super Pippo, a belated farewell.

The results may have gone missing, but you made up for it in passion

After hanging up his boots in 2012 amidst tears from fans and teammates, Inzaghi was hired as the coach of the Milan Allievi Nazionali youth team. He did quite well on his debut coaching season, taking his team to the semifinals of the league, where they were defeated on penalties. They also won the Scopigno Cup that year.

The next year he was promoted to the Primavera team, where they came just shy of the final eight in the league, but also won the prestigious Viareggio Cup. He also had the opportunity to coach his former captain’s son, one Christian Maldini. At the end of the season, he was awarded the Best Youth Sector Coach. During this time, he was offered the head coaching job at Sassuolo, an opportunity he was anxious to take. However he turned it down as Galliani refused to let him go.

Inzaghi celebrating the Scopigno Cup with his Allievi Nazionali team

This missed opportunity is crucial because he had been passed over for a job that was given to former teammate Seedorf, who had no coaching experience and hadn’t even finished his coaching badges. But when Seedorf was inexplicably sacked at the end of the season, suddenly Milan had faith in Inzaghi… at a fraction of the wages of his predecessors, of course. He was given a worse team, with more turmoil and squad turnover, and asked to do more, it was hardly fair. Especially when you consider what he might have been able to do at Sassuolo. But as always, he chose Milan.

Milan did not keep the same faith in him. After handing him all of their leftovers and asking him to work miracles, they sacked him after only a year. And still, the classy, professional Inzaghi answered back. He wrote a farewell to fans and the team and the club that was as classy as the club has been classless these past few years. He is one in a million, and Milan have been so lucky to have been graced by his presence for 14 years.

This is how the man reacts to being fired

It’s hard to even think about coming up with words that could even approach the words he gave to us. So I won’t even try. But I will just say thank you, Inzaghi. For giving us your heart and soul for 14 years, and especially these past three years. You literally aged before our eyes this past year, as Milan sucked the very life out of you. But it doesn’t mean your passion and love and dedication to the shirt will ever be forgotten. You will forever be the symbol to fans worldwide of what it means to bleed red and black, and any shortcomings you had as a coach are forever eclipsed by the mess you were handed to manage. It breaks my heart to know that you will now go on to coach other clubs, but I know that you will always have Milan in your heart, as you will always be in ours. Grazie, Mister.

This post inspired by the music of The Cure’s “Lovesong”