Milito: Treble was more important than Ballon d'Or

The striker insists that helping Inter to glory mattered much more than winning personal awards and argues that the current Nerazzurri crop need time to rebuild
Diego Milito says winning the treble with Inter in 2010 was more important than receiving the Ballon d'Or.

The Argentine scored 30 goals for the Nerazzurri on their way to lifting three trophies under Jose Mourinho but missed out to Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the race to be crowned the world's best player that year.

The Ballon d'Or has grown in popularity over recent years but Milito, who was a noticeable omission from the shortlist despite his goalscoring exploits, insists that the team's glory was all that mattered.

"In all honesty, I think I should have at least have been in the top 50 but I was only a little disappointed," the striker told Le Buteur.

"What matters to me are winning titles for the team. If I had to choose between the Ballon d'Or and the victories for Inter, I would not have any doubts. The treble was the most beautiful thing in my career. It was a perfect season."

Milito also urged fans to give the current Inter team time, with inconsistent form leaving them in fifth place, 26 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus.

"We need time," he implored. "The team is in a period of reconstruction, with many new players and new coaching staff. In addition, we have had a change in ownership.

"With all these changes, we definitely need some time to work so that things return to their normal course. With a little time we will be able to achieve our goals."

The 34-year-old has enjoyed most of his success in the later years of his career, something which he puts down to the hard work which he has always put in.

"In life and in football, you always have to be patient. My only concern was to work hard in training, progress and never give up. It took some time to achieve the goals but I did it," Milito declared.

"My patience and my faith was returned. I think this may be a good example for the younger generation."