Every nostalgia is a form of old age, João Guimarães Rosa, a Brazilian writer, wrote, so I think it's right that I, the oldest of the nss sports editors, write about the now forgotten Intertoto Cup. Yesterday, UEFA made official that starting from the 2021/2022 season the third European club competition will come into force after the Champions League and Europa League, the Europa League 2 its temporary name.
But there was a long time in which the Perugia of Serse Cosmi and of the President Gaucci, of Ze Maria and of the captain Giovanni Tedesco and of the bomber Zisis Vryzas raised that cup in the house of Wolfsburg, not to mention the Bologna of Nervo, Ingesson, Paramatti, Fontolan and Signori, with Carletto Mazzone on the bench, who won the trophy in 1998 together with Valencia and Werder Bremen. Yes, the Intertoto Cup won three different teams, and I think it's right to explain why.

Once upon a time there was the forgotten 'Intertoto Cup' The Perugia of Serse Cosmi, the Bologna of Carlo Mazzone and the three winners | Image 0

We start from the dawn first, born in 1995 was a summer tournament organized by UEFA that was disputed between the teams remained out of three (then only two) European cups. From 1995 to 2005 the cup included the participation of 60 teams divided into three boards: the first part of the competition was grouped, while the second part was eliminated. The winners of the three finals (in the first two editions the winners were only two), who played from a minimum of six to a maximum of ten races, acquired the right to take part in the UEFA Cup of the same season, starting from the first round, and in addition, the Intertoto Cup each won.

The existence of the tournament, starting from the fact that when the main cups were established were already three, has always been in question. In this regard, UEFA granted the possibility of refusing to participate, because starting early preparation (the last of the Italians usually had to debut in the turn of early July) was often detrimental for the rest of the season. Eclatante was the case of the Sampdoria of Montella and Ortega, which in the 98 \ 99 season participated in the Intertoto just beginning in July and ended up back in a completely unexpected in Serie B. Since 2006 the inscriptions began to fall and we reached 49 registered teams and the competition lost its "charm" to and be abolished by UEFA from the 2009/2010 season as decided on 30 November 2007. Among the Italian teams that brought home the trophy there are also: Juventus of Van Der Sar, Tacchinardi and Pessotto in 1999 and Udinese of Poggi and Giannichedda with Gigi De Canio on the bench in 2000.
One of the reasons that led to the abolition of the Intertoto Cup was the policy of centralization of the Champions League wanted by UEFA, to become that summer tournament that had given emotions to teams not accustomed to live them to become anachronistic and exhausting but above all snubbed by clubs, players and people.

Once upon a time there was the forgotten 'Intertoto Cup' The Perugia of Serse Cosmi, the Bologna of Carlo Mazzone and the three winners | Image 1

But there is a big reason why we would do well to regret the Intertoto, in recent years we have always complained that from 6th place to 15th place the championship ended in January, that is when the so-called mid-ranking teams had by now reached a "quiet" position and faced the games with excessive softness. Maybe, and I say perhaps, that European glimpse was throat to those teams of the province that despite the difficulties of starting the preparation at the end of June they wanted to live "the European dream" and to give their fans a little 'joy and we passionate football, a bit of romance. We hope that this third cup just confirmed by the UEFA summits can give us back a bit of that dream that now seems to be the exclusive prerogative of elite football.