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Julio Cesar: Messi save was my greatest one

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Former Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar recalled the moment of his remarkable save against Lionel Messi in 2010

Under Jose Mourinho, Inter were drawn against Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League that year and entered the second leg with a 3-1 aggregate lead.

Things didn’t start well for Inter at Camp Nou as they attempted to protect their advantage from Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team with Thiago Motta’s sending-off forcing them to play with 10-men for more than an hour.

Gerard Pique had given the Catalan’s the lead with an 84th-minute goal before Bojan Krkic had an injury-time goal ruled out to secure Inter a 3-2 aggregate victory.

But one of the main talking points for the game was Cesar, who saved Messi’s goalbound curler from 20 yards brilliantly by tipping it wide.

Nearly nine years later and the retired Brazilian still fondly recalls the moment while discussing his three best saves.

“I would say that my save to deny Messi at Camp Nou was my best one,” Cesar told the club website.

“It was an almost impossible save as the ball was almost behind me when I got to it.

“In second place would have to be my save which prevented Thomas Müller from scoring in the final.

“I would rate the save I produced to deny Aquilani in a Serie A match against Roma as my third-best one.”

Inter would go on to win the Champions League that year along with the Serie A and Coppa Italia to become the first-ever Italian club to win the treble.

“The treble is my biggest dream that ever came true,” added Cesar.

“It sounds like something easy to say, but it was an incredible achievement from all of us. There was a special energy at the club during that season. We knew we could do something special and we did it.

“Being an interista, to win with this shirt is something difficult to describe. A unique emotion that I share with my fans. I feel one of them”.