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Cambiasso zu Inter

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F.C. Internazionale communicates that Argentine player Esteban Matias Cambiasso has joined the club. In the trophy room at Inter's headquarters in via Durini this afternoon Cambiasso, who has an Italian passport, put pen to paper on a contract which expires on 30 June 2008.

He was one of the youngest footballing talents to come to Europe. At the age of sixteen, Esteban Matìas Cambiasso joined Real Madrid from Argentinos Juniors in 1996.

Perhaps it was a little too soon for the player born in Buenos Aires on 18 August 1980, a midfielder who had already showed his dynamism and vision, but who still had to grow physically. He was on the list for pre-season training, but was considered not ready by then Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello.

Six years later Esteban reaped what he'd sown. It was the European Super Cup final against Feyenoord in Monaco and Cambiasso, 22 at the time, gave a sizzling display to help Real Madrid win 3-1 and lift the only trophy that had previously eluded them.

That match marked a turning point in the career of Cambiasso, who after the move to Europe went back to Argentina where he became known as 'El Cuchu', and played for Independiente (98 appearances, 14 goals) then River Plate (37 appearances, 12 goals). He was part of the Argentina Under-20 side at the 1997 World Youth Championship in Malaysia and played two international Under-20 tournaments in South America in 1997 and 1999.

After the night as prince in the principality, Esteban was considered a 'real' Real player. In 2002/03 he collected 24 appearances in the Liga and 9 in the Champions League, and won both the Spanish title and the Intercontinental Cup.

Cambiasso, whose contract with the Spaniards expired on 30 June 2004, played 11 Liga matches and 5 Champions League games last season, and won a Spanish Super Cup. Real relied on the midfielder in the final stages of a difficult season and Esteban was always among the best performers when called into action. But the relationship had gone sour and he had already chosen his future.

Cambiasso, who has an Italian passport (his family has origins from the province of Genoa) signed for Inter in via Durini on Friday afternoon after undergoing the routine medical tests. Welcomed by president Giacinto Facchetti, Cambiasso replied: "I'm pleased and excited. A professional dream has come true."


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