2002-03 Internazionale Home Shirt Size Small
Era: 2002-03 (Used for the 2002-03 Serie A season)
While the sponsor has sadly come away, the rest of the shirt is in great condition, with the Nike swoosh and club crest standing in fine stead, and the material of the shirt is also immense, especially given the age of the shirt. The condition of the shirt has been reflected in the price.
Pit to Pit Measurement: 20 inches
Shirt Length: 29.5 inches
Made by Nike in their range of shirts which they introduced in 2002; these shirts do fit considerably baggier in comparison to those made today, and as a result, I would suggest that this shirt may be better suited to a size medium.
Nike’s presentation of Internazionale’s home shirt ahead of the 2002-03 season would follow suit from their previous iterations as blue remained the stand-out colour on the shirt. The tertiary colour of yellow would be retained from the previous season however, the aesthetic of the stripes would enjoy a makeover, where after 3 seasons of heavy block stripes; the 2002-03 home shirt would use a thinner and vaster array of stripes. This shirt would also employ a faux v-neck collar which furthered the modern contemporary stylings of the shirt. The team would enjoy another rollercoaster of a season that would yet-again ultimately amount to heart-break as they finished 2nd in Serie A and reached the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League only to crash out against AC Milan in the cruelest of fashions – on away goals against a team they share a stadium with! This shirt would also be the one and only Inter home shirt worn by the legendary Gabriel Batistuta as he enjoyed the 2003 portion of the season with the club!
Hector Cuper’s debut season at the Internazionale helm exceeded all expectations as the club went 90 minutes away from winning the 2001-02 Serie A season and reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup! He would have to go at it in 2002-03 without the likes of Ronaldo and Clarence Seedorf however, as they ended their respective stays with the club and the funds would be wisely invested in capturing Serie A stalwarts – Fabio Cannavaro, Francesco Coco, Matias Almeyda and his compatriot: Hernan Crespo to fill the void left by Ronaldo!
Inter would better their fantastic start to the 2001-02 season by winning their opening 5 games of the season, and only a 1-1 draw with Juventus at San Siro on 19/10/02 prevented them from winning each of their opening 8 games of the new campaign! A patchy November would do nothing to take away from what was all round an exceptional year of 2002 for the Nerazzurri; culminating in them finishing joint top of the table with AC Milan. Sadly, the wheels would come off in 2003 as they could only win in 7 of their opening 14 league games of the year and the defeats would be particularly crippling against Juventus and AC Milan. Still, with 6 games to spare, there was only a 6 point deficit, however, with the team drawing in 4 of those games; they would have to settle for a 2nd place finish – still their highest since the 1997-98 season.
The cup competitions however mirrored the previous season in many ways as Inter bowed out of the Coppa Italia in the Last 16 for the second season running, and would also reach the heady heights of a European semi-final. In order to take part in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage for the first time since the 1998-99 season; Inter would edge Sporting CP in a blockbuster qualifier, before successfully navigating the first Group Stage where they topped a group that also featured: Ajax, Lyon and Rosenborg. Hernan Crespo was a particular force of nature as he netted 8 times!
The dreaded 2nd Group Stage saw them drawn alongside – Newcastle United, FC Barcelona and runners-up in the 2002 Final – Bayer Leverkusen. Hector Cuper’s nous of navigating this format paid dividends as he guided Internaziomale to a 2nd place finish, to once again meet Valencia in the quarter final. Just like 12 months earlier in the UEFA Cup; Hector Cuper would prevail over his former side, with AC Milan lying in wait in the semi-final. A tense semi-final would end in the cruellest way – away goals, as Milan, as the ‘away side’ of the 2nd Leg won on away goals after the 1-1 draw that took place at San Siro on 13/05/03.
The notable players that season were:
Hernan Crespo, Christian Vieri, Obafemi Martins, Gabriel Batistuta, Alvaro Recoba, Andy van der Meyde, Emre Belozoglu, Sergio Conceicao, Stephane Dalmat, Cristiano Zanetti, Matias Almeyda, Luigi Di Biagio, Javier Zanetti, Ivan Cordoba, Marco Materazzi, Fabio Cannavaro, Carlos Gamarra, Nelson Vivas, Francesco Coco, Thomas Helveg, Michele Serena, Francesco Toldo
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