Welcome to the SC Internacional End of Season Review of Season 3 in Top 100. A short run down of how the Brazilian outfit gained their 2nd successive promotion to reach the dizzy heights of Division 2, after a 3rd place finish in Division 3.
Let’s rewind to the very beginning of Season 3, Downinho had guided Internacional to their first promotion in Top 100 after an impressive season and a 3rd place finish in Division 4. The team was on a high but endured a patchy end of season and maybe expected difficult times up ahead. Some players were still settling in after only coming into the squad towards the end of the season such as Paul-Georges Ntep and Bruno Alves.
The board still felt the team needed to be strengthened ready for the start of season 3, and Downinho managed to secure a deal for a solid centre back/defensive midfielder in the form of 88 rated Spanish international Mikel San Jose from Stuttgart in exchange for Lucas Castro and Rafael Toloi. (Luckily for Internacional San Jose rose to 89 a few days after his arrival!) However this was the only real strengthening that could be done.
(San Jose – massive signing!)
Despite the lack of arrivals, some players were given a helpful rise by SM:
Becker Alisson – GK – Age 23 – 87 > 88
Ander Capa – RB – Age 24 – 86 > 87
Gallardo Keko – RW- Age 24 – 85 > 87
Cedric Bakambu – CF – Age 25 – 87 > 89
These were sure to give Internacional a good chance for a respectable season.
Unfortunately due to time limitations there will be no detailed match run down, but needless to say on the whole it was a great season, much more than was expected from anyone at the club. The best part was a particularly good run in the middle of the season after a promising start to catapult Inter into a title battle with Genoa. But a characteristic slump towards the end saw Inter slip and allow Rahul’ s Aston Villa storm to the title, with Frank Hirst’ s Genoa taking 2nd place to also earn back to back promotions, along with Mike Scalotti’ s Southampton who progressed via the playoffs. It was very close at the top towards the end, with PSV and Leicester City also in the mix for promotion, but Internacional were arguably the lucky ones who just managed to earn a win on final day against Galatasaray to end their slump and bag another unlikely promotion.
Downinho can also be very proud of his team for having the best defensive record in the league, conceding only 27 goals across 38 games, and contributing to the 2nd best goal difference in Division 3.
However, Cup competitions were unfortunately a write off from Round 1!
Internacional’s standout players were attackers Paul-Georges Ntep and Cedric Bakambu. Ntep certainly settled in this season and was arguably the most important player, making the most Team of the Week appearances (9), and even making the Division 3 Team of the Season!
(Bakambu – a solid campaign for Inter’s highest valued player)
PREPARATION FOR SEASON 4
The board demanded more transfer activity to strengthen the squad for Division 2 football, to attempt to meet the demands of the significant difference in class and quality. So Downinho has been busy wheeling, dealing, bidding and negotiating and has managed to strengthen in many areas. The squad size was always large but it lacked in quality, so 2 for 1 deals were to be the way to go.
Raul Jiménez – Age 25 – AM,F (RLC) – 88
The Mexico international attacker was acquired from Atlético Madrid in exchange for young highly tipped prospects Furtado William and Youssef Ait Benasser going the other way. Quality was needed now and the youngsters were serving little purpose in terms of games. Jiménez has scored on his debut in the 2-2 draw against Benfica, so is bound to play an important role for Internacional.
Andreas Samaris – Age 27 – CM/DM – 88
The Greece international midfielder joined from Athletic Club in exchange for 87 rated defender Edson Mexer and teenage Uruguayan fullback Marcelo Sarrachi. Strength was needed in central midfield so this is a good deal for the club.
The Dutch international was signed from PSV in exchange for Daniel Didavi and Gallardo Keko. Two 87s who shared gametime traded for 1 88 improves quality again in the attacking third and is no considerable damage to the squad, as replacements have been bought. He also scored on his debut against Benfica on Sunday.
Christian Günter – Age 23 – LB – 86
A new backup LB was needed as Matthias Ostrozolek was sold to Marseille for failing to impress. Günter is a much better, younger prospect who is playing well for Freiburg in real life so should rise, and could easily be Inter’s undisputable starting left back in the near future. He was acquired in a deal for Odion Ighalo who was Level 2 unhappy.
Da Silva Eduardo – Age 33 – CF – 87
The veteran Croatian was bought from external as a backup striker to replace Ighalo.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Who will be the next big thing at SC Internacional? Who might break through or having a good rating increase this season? Here’s the verdict:
Alassane Plea – Age 23 – AM,F (RLC) – 85
He is almost outscoring Mario Balotelli for high flying Ligue 1 leaders Nice. Has shone this season and is bound to rise 87+ soon!
Willi Orban – Age 23 – CB – 83
An ever present for Bundesliga sensations RB Leipzig! Challenging Bayern for top spot and yet to lose a game. Due a big rise and certain to be a starter for Internacional in Top 100 one day.
Downinho will field his strongest lineup. The only exception from the picture shown is that Marcel Risse will replace Capa as first choice right back, with Riise needing gametime due to being Level 2 unhappy, and due a rise to 88 very soon after some great club form for FC Cologne.
Downinho is said to be delighted with the squad he has assembled, despite it still being one of the weakest in Division 2. The team has come a long way in the last 2 1/2 seasons and hope they can once again prove the bookies wrong and achieve their goal to stay in Division 2! But hell, it will be bloody hard!
So that’s it! An opening day 2-2 draw against Benfica has got SC Internacional a point on the board as the Chairman expects the team to avoid relegation. That is what Downinho is dying to do. One thing is for sure, judging by the quality of teams in Division 2, a 3rd successive promotion is definitely out of the question!
THANKS FOR READING