By Gabriel Tan
Although that in itself was good cause for celebration.
Having recently relinquished their stranglehold on the Serie A title to bitter rivals AC Milan, progressing to the May 29 showpiece at the Stadio Olimpico meant that their fans could still have reason to cheer come season's end.
However, what was more momentuous than the prospect of silverware, was the reaching of a milestone by one of the club's most loyal servants.
In ancient mythology, the Greeks, after a fruitless 10-year siege on Troy, constructed a huge wooden horse and left it outside the city gates, before pretending to sail away.
The Trojans, taking this as a symbol of surrender, pulled the horse into the city as a trophy, unaware that a select band of 30 warriors were hidden inside. As night fell, the Greek soldiers crept from their hiding place and opened the gates for the rest of their army to enter, who in turn pillaged the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.
In more ways than one, Javier Zanetti is exactly like a Trojan horse.
Everyone acknowledges that the Argentinean wing-back is a very good player, as he has been since joining Inter in 1995. The puzzling thing is why he has never been regarded as a great of the game.
On Wednesday night, he played the 1000th game of his professional career. 33 for Talleres, 66 for Banfield, 12 for various Argentina youth teams, 140 for the Argentina national team, and 749 for Inter.
Having reached the 1000-game milestone, he joins legendary figures like Paolo Maldini (1040), Roberto Carlos (1010).
His trophy cabinet too is a testament to the man's success in the game. Five Serie A titles, three Coppa Italias, a UEFA Champions League and a UEFA Cup make for pretty good reading.
So how does someone who has been a key player for one of the biggest sides in Europe for the last 15 years still be regarded as just "very good"?
Quite simply, because Zanetti is a Trojan horse. He flies under the radar and plays his role perfectly so that others can claim the headlines.
Zanetti is no slouch, but is he really fast? Many would say no. As evidenced by how Gareth Bale glided past him earlier this season in the Champions League, Zanetti is not the fastest of players in the world. But he is quick.
Does he have good technique? Most definitely. Without being tricky, Zanetti has excellent dribbling skills and is a good passer of the ball. But will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as Luis Figo or Zinedine Zidane? Probably not.
Defensively, Zanetti is proficient and adept, yet he is not the first name that comes to mind when you think of the great defenders in Serie A. Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro and Cafu, yes. But not Zanetti.
Quite simply, why Zanetti has enjoyed so much success in the game is the same reason why he is not afforded enough recognition.
Throughout the years, opposition coaches planning to beat Inter have always had a number of players whose influence they had to curtail. Ronaldo, Figo, Ibrahimovic, Sneijder, Eto'o. All top on the list of players to stop.
Yet, we have never seen Zanetti being 'man-marked'. Because he is not seen as particularly quick, skillful or creative, opposition coaches often leave him to his own devices.
But the combination of average speed, technique and creativity can sometimes add up to make quite a dangerous player. In fact, Zanetti is far greater than the sum of his parts.
And like the wooden horse that the Trojans thought possessed no danger, Zanetti similarly works silently; allowing his more illustrious team-mates to inflict the damage on their opponents.
On Wednesday night, as the Argentinean stalwart led his troops out against Roma, he wore a special captain's armband to commemorate his 1000th professional appearance.
Finally, we thought, the man is drawing some attention to himself, and deservingly so.
Yet, closer inspection revealed that the commemorative armband was adorned with nine stars, one for each of the players to have reached the milestone before him.
Even on one of the biggest nights of his career, the veteran put others before himself.
Unfortunately, Zanetti may never be regarded as one of the greats of modern football. But as he has displayed throughout his career, perhaps being "very good" can sometimes be good enough.